LEADING IN HOUSING, SUPPORT AND RIGHTS FOR PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
Two people standing in the doorway of their home with a welcome sign on the wall

Collective Ownership

This page has technical information about how a group of people can develop their own housing and possibly run the care and support service as well.

Most often this is a group of parents with a disabled son or daughter who feel there is no suitable accommodation locally or there are shortcomings in provision, which they can improve on. The solution can be to band together, pooling resources and develop a new service for their relative to share.


There are various ways of collaborating including:

  • Joint ownership by up to four families;
  • To form a company – usually used when there are more than four parties;
  • To set up an independent not for profit housing provider organisation.

How to access

This approach is relatively unusual. It is in the hands of the families and individuals involved and will often depend on one or two key leaders. The arrangements for access can be whatever the group collectively decides but normally participation in the group ensures housing for the relative at some point. How subsequent lettings or sales are handled will again be in the hands of the group to agree.

Pros and cons

Pros:
  • Allows families to design and establish whatever service they want;
  • As a legal entity, a company can borrow money and thus may to a certain extent solve the problem of funding. However, families may be asked to guarantee borrowing; and
  • As a legal entity, a company or independent not for profit housing provider can have a life beyond that of any individual or family. It can be a partial answer to the question of what happens when a parent (or other relative) is no longer around to look after their son or daughter

 

Cons:

  • Unusual approach which requires persistence, knowledge and reaching agreement between several parties who may have rather different perspectives;
  • An element of risk and uncertainty. Success may be dependent on one or two key leaders;
  • It is likely Adult Social Care or Health Authority funding will be required for care and support. These agencies will have to be persuaded the approach is workable, suitable and fair; and
  • Has all the usual responsibilities of managing and maintaining the property, but also the possibly of managing a support service or having oversight of this.

How the money works

There is no fixed model, so arrangements can be whatever the parties choose. It is likely that all will have to contribute something to meet at least the initial legal (and other) fees involved in setting up the organisation and researching potential buildings or land.

In a company model, the founders may hold equal shares and be the Directors. Ultimately the share may have a value related to the net assets of the company. Future families may join by buying shares.

Where self-contained dwellings are developed, it is possible each property can be bought and sold as for the disabled tenants the scheme is developed for come and go.

Tenants will pay a rent and this provides an income to the company which is used to pay for:

  • Housing management
  • Property maintenance and repair
  • Repaying any loan taken out by the company.

The company (or other vehicle) having completed the development, may choose to contract with other specialist housing providers for day to day management, maintenance and future lettings.

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CONTACT INFORMATION
Learning Disability England
Birmingham Research Park
97 Vincent Drive
Birmingham, B15 2SQ, England
Tel. 0300 2010455
COMPANY INFORMATION
Learning Disability England
Registered company: 4233275
Registered Charity No. 1092587