At a time of a growing housing crisis this republication of John Hands’s classic Housing Co-operatives could not be timelier.
It provides a unique mixture of theory and practice, showing from other countries and from the author’s own experience in Britain how housing co-operatives can work and how they can fail.
In a new Introduction, John Hands argues that the creation of a third tenure for housing distinct from both individual owner occupation on the one hand and tenancy—whether from private or social landlord—on the other hand is urgently needed.
The par value housing co-operative provides the residents with all the benefits of ownership in terms of control and decision-making, but it is housing for use, not property for investment. Moreover, as the book shows, a well-structured co-operative promotes the development of community values based on mutual aid and shared responsibility for their homes and immediate neighbourhood.
"This is a book for those who believe in the power of people to shape their own lives.” —The Catholic Herald
"Shock, horror, drama. A new book is out about housing which says it's all about people and not about social engineering or investing for your old age...it's by John Hands who has actually succeeded in doing what he's talking about, which is to set up co-operative housing schemes that actually work." —The Guardian
John Hands' timely and exemplary guide is marvellous...this is a book for all concerned in with the role of and effects of housing in this society of ours." —The Architects' Journal
"A most powerful mixture of common sense and idealism, a practical man's gospel and a visionary's handbook...this is a book intended to influence events here and now." —Building
“The most comprehensive account we have of co-operative principles applied to housing, the experience of other countries, and the possibilities...John Hands’ book is going to be indispensable.” —Colin Ward in Municipal Engineering
“He shows how housing co-ops could offer, in the immediate future, a valuable alternative form of social ownership in housing, enabling people to collectively own and control one of their fundamental human rights—housing—on the basis of mutual aid rather than individual gain or distant bureaucracy.” —Housing Review
“The strengths and pitfalls of a co-operative framework for housing are made admirably clear.” —Architectural Design
“A unique mixture, thorough and practically written by a person who has spent the last seven years working full-time in developing and managing housing co-operatives... One feels that a penetrating mind has been brought to bear on the subject and the book will be of great use not only to both professionals and tenants but also to anyone who cares about one of the common ills of today—the alienation and loneliness of individuals in modern urban society.” —Voluntary Housing
“Housing managers will find the book not only a valuable and interesting source of practical information about housing co-operatives, but also stimulating and provocative in its penetrating observations on recent housing policies and on social and community problems besetting modern urban society.” —Housing Monthly
“The importance of this book is that it not only states clearly what needs to be done but goes on to discuss in detail how it is to be done... This is a book to study and discuss.” —Co-operative News
“John Hands has recently published an important book on housing co-operatives in which he surveys his experiences and findings...he does not shrink from employing a critical yardstick to housing co-operatives in other countries and outlines his views about the practical action to be taken in present and future circumstances.” —International Co-operative Alliance Housing Bulletin
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John Hands was the Executive Director of the Society for Co-operative Dwellings, and then the Director of the Government’s Co-operative Housing Agency. Subsequently he tutored in both physics and management studies for the Open University, wrote three bestselling, critically acclaimed novels—PERESTROIKA CHRISTI, DARKNESS AT DAWN, and BRUTAL FANTASIES—and was appointed Royal Literary Fund Fellow at University College London. He has devoted the last eleven years to evaluating scientific theories about human evolution from the origin of the universe, resulting in the 2015 publication of COSMOSAPIENS: Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe.
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