It’s been a busy couple of months in our group. In early November we hosted our second open meeting. Some new people came along to find out what we are all about and hopefully a few of them will start down the road with us. This time we’d decided to have a short video presentation, some blurb and then a chaired question and answer session. The format worked well and I think we will carry it forward to our next open meeting.
Frustrating news is, that although we feel confident of being granted our stage 2 Homes England grant, the final decision has been delayed as the panel doesn’t ‘feel able to communicate investment decisions due to purdah until after the election.’ It is doubly frustrating as that sounds like they already know the answer!
The election has, however, done us a favour, in that we decided to hold a hustings around the issues of Housing, Transport and Sustainability. This was a well attended and reported event (including live facebook streaming) which as well as giving constituents the chance to ask questions to all our candidates, gave us the chance to raise our public profile.
Also this month, we had our first members only meeting. This took shape as a shared supper and a game of cards. It’s great to have an opportunity to get to know members better, in a less formal situation. After all, if things go well, we will be seeing a lot more of each other!
We have commissioned a local land agent to do some looking around for possible land for us. They have recently sent us a list of potential sites! It sounds promising, and we have a meeting next week with them to see why they think some of these sites could be good for us. Fingers crossed!
Some members have met with a local housing association to see if there is any potential for us to work together. It was a positive meeting on many levels; they have a potential site we could share, we could pool resources, and they have loads of experience of house building and project management. Perhaps the most encouraging thing to report was that when asked what advantage working with Island Cohousing would have for the housing association, they replied that we had a common aim of seeing more affordable homes built on the Island. It’s just great to know there are people out there trying to tackle this problem from a variety of angles!