All About Sensible Housing Co-op…
How did it all start?
Who are we?
What do we do?
How It All Started
At the beginning of 1983 a few friends with common housing needs (i.e. they needed some housing) became interested in the idea of co-operative housing and discussed the possibilities and practicalities. Subsequently they formed “Sensible”. The first (and currently only) housing co-op in Bolton.
The idea behind Sensible was for the members (i.e. the people living in the co-op) to jointly and democratically the houses they live in. That’s right folks… No landlords!
They scraped the necessary funds together to register as a co-operative and this meant that they were eligible for government grant to help them purchase or build homes for themselves. Over time the co-op grew until it had refurbished 16 houses in the Great Lever area of Bolton. They then commissioned a new block of 12 purpose built flats aimed primarily at single people or couples.
In 2012 we completed a large stock investment programme which saw all our propeties receive upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors and heating.
What We Do
The co-op is still run by its members for its members. Our member households vary from single people to families with children. Membership participation enables the community to grow on a basis of mutual help rather than distant bureaucracy.
How We Do It
All members accept responsibility for their own homes (e.g paying rent, keeping their homes in reasonable condition, informing the co-op about maintenance issues).
Members must also remember their responsibility to the co-op e.g attending general meetings, preserving the aims of the co-op and being involved in the decision making process. Even though these aspects of the co-op are voluntary, we would encourage members to take part as it is for the good of all.
The operation of the co-op relies on the participation of it’s members so that all decisions are democratic. No amount of bricks and mortar will make a co-op. The people in the co=op make the co-op.