In July 2018, the research report ‘Articulating value in co-operative housing - International and methodological review’ was officially released.
This research was commissioned by the Australian Co-operative Housing Network. The research was led by researchers at Western Sydney University and involved a team of researchers from Western Sydney University and the University of Newcastle: Louise Crabtree, Sidsel Grimstad, Joanne McNeill, Neil Perry, and Emma Power.
The research reviewed a selection of international co-operative housing sectors in addition to the Australian context, with two aims:
- Compile the current evidence for the social and financial benefits of housing co-operatives, to develop a framework to assess this in Australia; and,
- Identify preliminary issues regarding the growth and diversification of housing co-operatives in Australia.
The benefits included:
- Cost savings: up to 14% lower capital and operating costs under the co-operative model.
- Social capital: Stronger social networks and sense of community – higher than any other form of housing.
- Health and wellbeing: Widespread reports that living in a housing co-operative provides a greater sense of physical, emotional, mental health and well-being.
- Resident satisfaction: Widespread reports of lower costs, higher quality homes with better security and housing stability.