ARCH

The Alternative Resource Community Housing (ARCH) housing co-operative is located in Bunbury (approximately two hours south of Perth), and comprises eight co-located homes.

SNAPSHOT

Location: Bunbury, Western Australia
Date established: 1992
Number of dwellings: 8
Land area: 2725 square metres
Number of residents: 9
Demographics: Seniors
Shared facilities: N/A

Guiding Principles:

  1. Membership of a co-operative society should be voluntary and available without artificial restrictions or any social, political, racial or religious discrimination to all persons who can make use of its services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
  2. Co-operative societies are democratic organisations. Their affairs should be administered by persons elected or appointed in a manner agreed by the members and accountable to them. Members of primary societies should enjoy equal rights of voting (one member, one vote) and participation in decisions affecting their societies. In other than primary societies, the administration should be conducted on a democratic basis in a suitable form.
  3. Share capital should only receive a strictly limited rate of interest, if any.
  4. Surplus or savings, if any, arising out of the operations of a society belong to the members of that society and should be distributed in such a manner as would avoid one member gaining at the expense of others.
  5. All co-operative societies should make provision for the education of their members, officers, and employees and of the general public, in the principles and techniques of co-operation, both economic and democratic.
  6. All co-operative organisations, in order to best serve the interest of their members and their communities, should actively co-operate in every practical way with other co-operatives at local, national and international levels.

Aims:

To develop responsible tenant self-management

As well as having rights all members of housing collectives have an obligation to ensure that their collective is managed responsibly.

To build a supportive community

Providing decent, secure and affordable housing based on the principles of friendship, self-help and skill sharing.

To provide housing which is managed co-operatively and not based on profit motives

Members cannot make profit on their shares.

To make provision for education

Provide a positive learning environment for members and their families, officers and employees, and the general public in the principles and techniques of co-operation – principally within the Alternative Resource Community Housing Inc. community to energise members and combat apathy and secondly within the broader communitybased education and awareness campaigns for the general public.

To co-operate among co-operatives

In order to best serve the interests of its members and their communities, Alternative Resource Community Housing Inc. will actively co-operate in every practical way with co-operatives at local, national and international levels to strengthen and mobilise the co-operative movement and work for housing justice for all people.

History:

It began in 1992, when a group of people began meeting to discuss their common need for affordable housing with security of tenure and a sense of community. The group successfully applied for Commonwealth funding for land and building, and in 1997 the founding residents moved into their new homes.

What makes it special:

  • The Alternative Resource Community Housing (ARCH) housing co-operative is located in Bunbury (approximately two hours south of Perth), and comprises eight co-located homes.
  • ARCH comprises eight purpose-built two-bedroom villas, which are currently occupied mainly by people over 50.
  • Members describe themselves as a family of like-minded seniors living in a community where everyone looks out for each other. They take great pride in their homes, which are superbly maintained and surrounded by beautifully tended flower and vegetable gardens. The place feels peaceful, orderly and loved