As you will see in the terms below, the first step to joining us is to simply join as a “friends member”. Friends membership is currently available free of charge for the first year of membership, after which it reverts to our standard charge of £15 per year.
If you are interested in joining us please take a look at our Membership Policy below. If you’d still like to join us please fill out our membership form.
Membership Policy 1.2
We aim for our community to be underpinned by these core values:
Communal & Sociable
We believe many things can be done better together. We aim to build a strong sense of community, working together to make a better society. We want to build a community that values socialisation and that is designed to make it easy for the residents to hang out with their neighbours in a casual way. Equally we value alone time and privacy, so we want to create a simple balance where we are free to enjoy each other’s company without feeling obliged to do so.
We want to minimise our consumption of energy and other resources like water and food, aiming for a resilient and sustainable community.
We want affordability to be at the heart of our community from its initial build on to future generations of residents, with homes that are affordable to buy/rent and also to run.
We place a high value on our leisure time. Time to pursue creative projects, health and fitness or relaxation. We should never forget that the whole point of all this is to build a happy community where life is as easy and simple as we can make it. We will all have commitments to the running of the community, but these should be kept to a minimum using smart design and technology whenever possible.
We think many everyday resources can be shared – how many lawnmowers do we need? We are seeking ways to share resources more effectively, but also to share skills and ideas.
We achieve more working together, valuing each other’s contributions and seeking to find solutions that work for everyone.
A major advantage of community living is that we are simply here for each other if we are needed. We want to support each other and work together to keep the community alive. We also want to be open and integrated with the wider community around us.
However, residents and non-residents alike should not take advantage of this good will by making unreasonable demands on the community. For example, if long-term care becomes necessary for a resident then they should seek professional help in the normal way.
We aim to ensure we don’t unnecessarily exclude people and would like to have a diverse community. The main criteria for being a member would be that people want to live there and are willing to share in the creation of a neighbourhood that is supportive, sociable, and fun to be part of, and that they are prepared to adhere to the agreed rules the community
Island CoHousing aims to build a cohousing community on the Isle of Wight. More information can be found on our website at cohousing.wight.org.uk
- The maximum membership will be limited by the availability of the right sized accommodation; current plans are to build 20 homes from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom houses.
- Adult members of households will be members of the Island Cohousing group and must commit to the guiding principles of our community & be willing to participate in some capacity in the group.
- We aim for a mixed and inter-generational community.
- We plan to offer different types of tenancy from ownership to rented accommodation.
We have three levels of membership: Friends, Associate Members & Full members.
Members – Friends
- These are people interested in Island CoHousing, who want to know more about its activities, usually as part of a process of considering whether cohousing might be a suitable option for them.
- Friends are entitled to receive information about the project (e-mails, newsletters).
- Friends may attend some events & meals & may be invited to business meetings as an observer.
- Friends membership is currently available free of charge for the first year of membership, after which it reverts to our standard charge of £15 per year. This charge is to cover administration costs.
- Friends membership is the starting point for becoming a full member of the community.
Members – Associate
- These are people seriously considering living in the Island CoHousing community. They may be involved in order to decide if it’s for them; once they’ve met the conditions, they may be considered for full membership.
- They would normally already be Friends of Island CoHousing and familiar with our ethos and plans.
- Only associate members may become full members.
- Associate members will usually be welcome to participate in Island CoHousing meetings and working groups but will not have any voting rights. They may be excluded from some business discussions at the discretion of full members.
- Associate members agree to the guiding principles of Island Co Housing.
- Associate members pay a non-refundable fee of £50/annum (per household).
- Associate membership will be reviewed after a year with the expectation that full membership is applied for, or associate status could be extended by agreement of the full members.
- If the full membership group is full, prospective members could be pre-approved and go on a reserve list to become full members automatically when there are vacancies.
Members – Full
- These are people who join Island CoHousing and plan to live in the community, commit to the guiding principles of the group, meet the criteria outlined below, have been accepted into membership and have paid the fee and signed a membership agreement. Full members participate fully in the running and decision making of Island CoHousing.
- They have a place in the community, once built, provided they can meet the financial criteria of their chosen accommodation & service charges relating to the running of Island CoHousing. Full membership will only be granted if there is a suitable unit available or planned.
- Full members will normally have been associate members for six months or more and will have ticked off some of the list below:
- Acquainted themselves with all aspects of the Island CoHousing project
- Familiarised themselves with Island CoHousing’s governing document
- Visited one or more existing co-housing projects
- Participated in a working group
- Attended Island CoHousing business meetings
- Attended and contributed to Island CoHousing shared meals
- Attended special planning meetings and workshops
- Actively promoted Island CoHousing in the local neighbourhood
- They commit to contributing to the success of Island CoHousing and to dedicating time, skills and resources as necessary as the project develops.
- To become a full member and therefore be entitled to a unit in Island Co Housing they should:
- Normally pay an annual non-refundable fee of between £100 & £500 per adult (sum agreed by finance working group)
- Demonstrate the ability to finance their chosen unit and type of tenancy and commit to providing the necessary funding on time
- Full members will be company directors of Island CoHousing Ltd.
How to join
Simply fill in the form at https://cohousing.wight.org.uk/join
How to join
- Talk with us about the project, how you are thinking & feeling about it and let us know you want to move to associate membership.
- Read through the constitution and membership policy and agree to the guiding principles of Island CoHousing
- Complete an associate membership form to express your interest.
- We’ll assign a ‘joining buddy’ to guide you in the process of joining us (they will be able to explain our thinking, how the project is progressing, the finances, commitment etc.).
- Together we’ll discuss how you might get involved taking account of your skills and interests.
- We’ll need some information on ability to finance the housing to help in Island CoHousing’s planning.
- Once you and your buddy are happy that it’s the right time for you to become an associate member your membership will be discussed at the next directors meeting.
- Once approved, pay the joining fee (£50.00)
The above process is to help you and us clarify your interest in the project & the commitment involved, so we and you can plan how to proceed. It may sound a bit onerous, but only because we’ve set out all the steps in detail.
If you have any questions – ask one of us or your buddy over a drink or cup of tea.
We want the process to work, we want to strengthen the Island CoHousing community and we want to grow our membership
How to join
Having been an associate member of Island CoHousing you can apply to become a full member and secure a unit of housing (subject to availability)
Becoming a full member involves significant financial and personal commitment from you. It is a commitment both to live in a new way in Island CoHousing and a legal commitment
The process intends to help you clarify your decision and ensure we are all comfortable that you will afford your chosen option and meet the financial restrictions we have to fund the Island CoHousing project.
- We can meet to discuss Island CoHousing at length, answer any questions and explore interests, strengths, skills and the commitment necessary to the project
- Once we are all satisfied that we have explored the implications of joining, the membership group will appraise it and will make a recommendation to the whole group
- All existing full members will decide on acceptance based on your commitment to Island CoHousing and our guiding principles
- If accepted into Island CoHousing we will sign a contract with you, covering the liabilities and responsibilities of each of you and of the Island CoHousing group to you
- Joining us will involve some formal and informal processes, and culminate in signing a formal contract
- If the application is for more than one adult, there will be a joint application form & process involving each adult member of the household
- We will ask you to confirm your agreement to Island CoHousing guidelines and policies. On joining you will become a director of Island CoHousing Ltd.
- The end result is a legally binding agreement covering your right to purchase or rent a home & be part of Island CoHousing. This involves participating in the work & social life of the community, contributing to decision making, developments and the well-being of Island Co Housing.
You can view our privacy notice at https://cohousing.wight.org.uk/privacy – this explains how we will use your data and keep it secure.