Jon Adams, Project Development Officer at Bronllys Wellbeing Park, will be joining us as a speaker at One Big Housing Conference, as part of a workshop on Rural Housing Cooperatives. He tells us what’s to come.
Whilst we are all super heroes in our own way, I am not actually battling to save the world from a bunch of space pirates. Instead I feel I’m putting life back into what would otherwise be a large empty building in the middle of a small rural community, and at the same time accessing affordable accommodation whilst working away from home.
Finding good affordable accommodation in rural areas for workers, young people, and people on low incomes can be extremely challenging. Property Guardian schemes, where empty buildings are put back into use whilst they are waiting to be sold or re purposed, can be a cost effective opportunity for owners to protect their property, reduce the risk of the building falling into disrepair, and, where these buildings might have a strong presence in small towns or villages, bring in workers or keep workers, and young people connected to their local community.
Once an outdoor pursuit centre for Redbridge Borough, Glasbury House sits in large gardens on the banks of the river Wye and provides good affordable accommodation for 13 people working in the local area.
The low cost value of the Guardianship business model may not save the world from our housing crisis, but it may be able to protect empty buildings in our rural communities and provide people with the flexible and affordable living solutions they require. Short-life co-operative housing is a suggested model that could make this a more robust option for larger sections of society to access.