Next Tuesday 11th October, Labour & Co-operative MP Jonathan Reynolds will be introducing a Co-operative Party initiated parliamentary bill to end the essentially feudal nature of England’s land ownership laws and create a new form of tenure, Co-operative Housing Tenure.
Creating a distinct form of co-operative housing tenure would ensure that administration is reduced, courts better understand the nature of co-op housing and lenders and investors find co-operative housing more attractive. Fundamentally, the change to the law as outlined in the Ten Minute Rule Bill will mean that co-operative housing will be more viable, more widespread and allow tenants to organise themselves and their neighbourhoods.
Jonathan said of the Bill:
“It is now harder than ever for young people to find a home of their own and if we are to address this issue it is time to look beyond the traditional options of ownership or tenancy.
“This Bill would open the way for the development of true ‘co-operative housing schemes’, which are not currently acknowledged in Law in the UK.”
The Co-operative Housing Tenure Bill being introduced by Jonathan Reynolds MP has been pulled together by the Co-operative Party and CDS Co-operatives – the main player in the UK housing co-operative sector. The Bill is being co-sponsored by a range of Labour and Labour & Co-operative Members of Parliament, including David Miliband, Adrian Bailey, Gareth Thomas, Stella Creasy and Alison McGovern.
This emphasis on co-operative housing builds on the revolutionary work of Huw Lewis AM, the Welsh Housing Minister and a Co-operative AM. Huw said,
“I welcome the work Jonathan is doing in Westminster on co-operative housing and as Labour Co-operative Housing Minister in the Welsh Government I recognise that co-operative housing provides one of the solutions we need to address the housing shortage.
“That is why I will shortly be bringing forward legislation which will ensure co-operative housing plays a new role in Wales.”
Although – as a Ten Minute Rule Bill – it is not expected to become law on its first attempt, Jonathan Reynolds MP and the Co-operative Party will continue to build support on the issue. Since 1945, there have been over sixty Acts of Parliament which were initially introduced under the Ten Minute Rule. A recent example was the Divorce (Religious Marriages) Act 2002. You can support the campaign by signing the petition or tweeting about it.