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Housing glossary

A short guide to housing options in Sparkland


Council Housing

Low-cost housing is available for people on low incomes or who are receiving benefits and those who are considered homeless or living in unsanitary conditions. There is a long waiting list.

Bristol City Council: 0117 922 2000,


Right to Buy

Made available to council tenants who want to buy their property from the council, which is sold at a discount.


Social HomeBuy Scheme

Can’t afford to buy your council property? This helps tenants buy a share of their home with discounts of up to £16,000.


Housing Associations

There are over 1,800 Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) managing around 1.7 million homes to at least 3.4 million people in the UK. These are run as not for profit and so stay at a rental rate below the market average and you have to fit certain eligibility criteria such as being on a low income, of old age or having a disability.


Right To Acquire

Some RSLs offer tenants this scheme where they can buy their low-cost home with a discount of up to £16,000. You have to pay some or all of this back if you decide to sell your property within five years.

Bristol Churches Housing Association 0117 9704100


Co-operative Housing

Similar to Housing Associations but jointly owned and run by the tenants. A Co-operative can own single or multiple properties which tenants live in as shared housing. There are also self-build Co-operative schemes across the country. Co-ops offer owner-occupied and rental housing.

For free advice on setting up a Housing Co-operative contact Avon CDA, Brave Ltd, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, Bristol BS2 8QN 0117 989 2536

Bath Housing Co-operative Ltd 01225 339105.

Hartcliffe Self-build Housing Co-operative Ltd, Bristol 0117 978 0341

Tudor Lodge Self-build Housing Co-operative Ltd, Gloucester 01452 331008

** See also Kate Burrell's article on setting up a housing co-op



A type of Co-Operative but with the difference that members have a central house where the communal facilities are shared and meetings take place. They live as a community whilst still having individual privacy and are managed by residents. Provides a supportive neighbourhood between families, single people and the elderly and there are opportunities to go in as a home-owner or renter. Co-Housing Bristol are looking for new members as they have secured a site that they are in discussions over. Their aim is for it to be a mixture of two-thirds full tenure and one-third affordable housing. To get involved, go to their next open meeting in October. Contact Neil Whitehead: 0117 9048611,


Community Land Trusts

A model that has been going strong in the USA, CLTs are back on the government agenda in the UK. Land is held in trust by a public or private sector organisation for the community and its value is put to local needs such as affordable housing, preservation and regeneration. Our nearest CLT is the Stroud Valley Project (01453 753358), but CLTs are something that we are likely to hear mentioned more and more.


Campaign groups

The Land is Ours campaign against the exclusion of ordinary people from the land and the decision processes affecting it


Art For Lands Sake are raising money by selling songs online so they can buy land, and work it as a community.


Set up your own group to live off the land. Get inspired by communities such as Tinkers Bubble in Somerset and Steward Community Wooodland, 0845 458 1926


See also Kate Burrell's article on squatting



Written by Hannah Latham

First published issue 50 (Autumn 2007)


Disclaimer – details were correct at time of going to press, but may now have changed. Please make your own checks.

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