Southsea Self Help Housing Co-operative

Southsea Self Help Housing Co-operative has been in existence since 1976

Southsea Self Help Housing Co-operative is based in Fratton, Portsmouth. It owns and manages 35 properties in Garnier Street, Somers Road North and Lucknow Street. The Co-operative is a voluntary organisation and has no paid staff.

All of the management of the Co-operative is done by its members. In order for the Co-operative to work members have to be prepared to undertake the various tasks involved in the running of a housing organisation.

Note: Applications for single occupancy are now closed – please check back for future updates

The Co-operative’s housing consists of:

  • 6 three-bedroom family houses
  • 5 two-bedroom family houses
  • 3 two-bedroom family maisonettes
  • 2 two-bedroom disability flats
  • 12 one-bedroom flats
  • 3 two person shared houses
  • 1 three-bedroom flat
  • 3 two-bedroom flats

Each house or maisonette/flat has its own bathroom, kitchen area, living area, as well as the number of bedrooms indicated. All of the houses have their own rear garden, most of the flats have access to shared garden areas. Car parking is very limited at Somers Road North and Lucknow Street, whilst the houses and flats in Garnier Street have no Co-op owned parking areas. The properties are a mix of purpose built units less than thirty years old and Victorian houses refurbished within the last thirty years. In the shared housing the individual tenant occupies their own bedroom and shares the other facilities within the house with one other.

The Co-op is self-managing, the willingness and ability of applicants to become involved in the working of the organisation is the most important factor taken into account. Housing need is a secondary consideration. Therefore if you are not prepared to become involved in the workings of the Co-op do not bother to apply. Your application will automatically be rejected!

The Co-op is run by an elected Management Committee which consists of up to 15 members. The committee is elected annually and comprises the Officers of the Co-op, plus how ever many other members are required to bring the Committee up to 15 persons. The Officers are also elected annually and have specific responsibilities for different aspects of the Co-op’s work. The full list of Officers and their functions.

The Management Committee meets monthly to transact Co-op business. Meetings are open to all tenants but only Management Committee members can vote. In addition there are two working groups – the Maintenance Team, which assists the Maintenance Officer; the Finance Group which assists the Treasurer in budget and rent setting and also assists the Assistant Treasurer with the implementing the Co-op’s arrears policy; and in addition there are other temporary groups, which are formed to review policy and address other issues as they arise. As well as the monthly Management Committee the Co-op has occasional general meetings, which are open to all tenant members to attend and vote, as well as the Annual General Meeting.

The Co-op has an allocations policy for recruiting new tenant members. Briefly this is how it works – 

  1. When a tenancy becomes vacant the Co-op first offers the vacancy internally to any existing members who may wish to transfer.
  2. If there are no internal applicants the Co-op will fill the vacancy using the allocations policy.
  3. The allocations policy is a points based system and any vacancy will normally be filled by the prospective member with the greatest number of points.
  4. To become a prospective member an applicant will need to complete the application form to be found elsewhere on this website. All returned application forms are then checked and any applicants that do not meet the minimum criteria are rejected.
  5. All applicants are invited to a minimum of three monthly meetings where they can find out more about the Co-op, the accomodation on offer, and meet the existing members of the co-operative. 
  6. When an applicant has attended at least three meetings the co-op will then vote to accept them as a prospective member.
  7. Once an applicant becomes a prospective member they will be eligible for consideration for any vacancy which arise thereafter. Please be aware that acceptance as a prospective member DOES NOT guarantee an offer of housing. 
  8. Prospective members will need to demonstrate continued commitment by attendance at monthly meetings, and will need to keep the Membership Officer up to date with any changes in their circumstances.

The Co-operative is a fully mutual organisation. This means that being a member is the same as being a tenant, in other words all members have to be tenants and all tenants are members. If selected to be a member you will have to pay £1 to become a shareholder, this entitles you to participate in the Co-op. There are no dividends paid on your share holding and when you leave the Co-op your share is not refundable.