We are a group of lesbians aged fifty plus who are trying to create a new way of living together as we grow older. We are building a caring, supportive and vibrant community, run on democratic and feminist principles, which will enable us to live our lives to the full, staying active and engaged, and continuing to share our talents and skills as we grow older.
We plan to set up a mixed tenure cohousing project of around 25 dwellings in north-east London. We will each have our own flat and our own front door, but there will be shared outside and inside space where we can come together for meals, meetings and other activities. Some resources will be shared, and our homes will be designed and built for low environmental impact and futureproofed for our changing needs. Every older lesbian in London has talked about this at some point, but we are doing it! We started the journey to our new home in April 2016, and we have made great progress.
We are working in partnership with L & Q, one of the largest social housing providers in the country. A site in north east London has been earmarked for us. Two architecture practices have drawn up plans and feasibility studies, and we have chosen one firm to take our plans forward. We are working closely with the Greater London Assembly’s Community Led Housing Hub, and are in the process of applying for funds from the GLA’s Community Housing Fund and other potential grants and loans. So, we have done a lot in a short time, but there is still plenty to do.
We have a funding gap to fill. Many of us will be owner occupiers, and will sell our current properties to buy into the scheme. This will not cover the full cost of the build though, and in addition we want to provide affordable rented homes for those of us who need to rent. The communal areas within the scheme also need to be funded and we need extra funds for guaranteed accessibility and improved sustainability standards. We are looking for funders to fill the gap. If you can help please get in touch via the Getting Involved page
We are looking for new Full and Associate Members. You can find out more about our vision for the project and the values which underpin it here, but one of the most important principles is that our membership should be diverse. We are already a mixed community, but we are actively looking for more black and minority ethnic members. If you fit the bill, or you know someone who might be interested, have a look at our Getting Involved page.