A community of people with a common faith
Kingdom Place is a faith-based co-housing coop that aims to allow its residents to live a high-quality but low impact lifestyle. With a housing development built around community and to high environmental standards, we aim to tread lightly on the planet that God has given us to care over.
It has previously been set up by a group of 6 households from a house church to allow us to develop into a more cohesive community that seeks to support and watch out for each other. We hope to attract other christians who want to look at a different way of living, one that is more sustainable and affordable. To make the development sustainable we need to establish a community of 20 households.
The co-op is non-denominational in its outlook so we are more than happy to welcome possible members of any christian denomination. There is no need to be a member of any particular church group and if you choose to join then you can happily continue with your own church membership and services.
This is not a commune or religious community. It is a community of people with a common faith and love for Jesus.
What sort of people are involved?
The current members of the group are a diverse group. From single people to families with children and the housing types that we aim to provide will aim to meet all demands for accommodation. Most of the members are currently in short-tenancy private housing. With 60,000 households now on council waiting lists in Wales, the opportunity for them to move into quality affordable housing is practically zero.
Current founding members are ecologically aware and want to move their lifestyle to a more sustainable basis. Most of the children in the families are home-schooled and we will be building this into the community facilities available so children will have community space to learn and play.
A number of members also work from home and we also want to look at how to build this into the homes or community house. We know that home-based work is increasing in the modern workplace and we want to take this into account. Our current members are also active in performing arts and music so you can expect a lot of jamming sessions going on in the community house on an evening.
Are there any rules?
This is your home as we want as few rules as possible but there needs to be a common set of rules in order to ensure a community runs smoothly. It is still a very early stage but these are the few rules we have so far agreed upon.
- No pets – That said we are happy to allow indoor pets such as hamsters, fish, and budgies etc. However, pets such as dogs and cats which may go outside will not be allowed. This is because there will be no private gardens and the open space will be play areas for children. you’ve only got to walk around your local park or local streets to see the evidence of dogs and cats. Rather than pointing fingers and continually having to get people to clean up after their pets the best option is no outdoor pets.
- 10.00pm – 6.00am quiet time – during these times no music etc should be heard from outside your own property. A good nights sleep does wonders in helping to keep a tolerant and friendly community going.
Central to the very core of the project is affordable and secure tenancies. Many of our members are on low pay and also insecure working hours. Today’s workplace is insecure and poorly paid for many. This means that getting a mortgage to purchase a home is not going to be possible for the majority of people and increasingly even finding a place to rent when you are on zero-hours and minimum wages is getting harder.
Our aim is for rents to be as close to local area housing allowance levels as possible. The ruling documents of the co-op will ensure that homes in the development will remain affordable for years to come.
We aim to have a wide range of different accommodation available from 1 bedroom homes through to 4 bedroomed homes. We also plan on having a couple of 2 bedroomed homes adapted for shared housing to meet the local housing allowance for under 35’s.
Rents will be based on the local housing allowance for the area in which we build. For example, if we find land in Newport the rents will be as follows (according to today’s allowances);
Shared house – £55.05 per week,
1 bedroom – £85.85 per week,
2 bedroom – £103.56 per week,
3 bedroom – £119.71 per week,
4 bedroom – £158.05 per week.
Application for housing types will be based on the size of home needed and allowed for under local housing allowance rules.
Funding the community
The co-op will own the property and land with members renting the property on long hold tenancies, lifetime if needed. The tenancy can also be passed down to the next generation. People can leave the co-op at any time and will be refunded the value of the share that they purchased when joining the co-op. The share will then be made available for someone else to purchase and join.
While we aim for long-term secure tenancies you still need to ensure you pay your rent on time and do not act against the wider interests of the community – such as anti-social behaviour – to prevent being evicted.
The co-op will borrow the money to buy the land and build the properties. Rent paid will repay the mortgage and any remainder will be divided into 3 accounts. The first will be the long-term contingency fund to be used to make any major refurbishments that may arise as building grow older. The second will be a general maintenance fund to meet day to day repairs and the third account will be the community improvement fund which will be used to increase the quality and range of community facilities.
The co-op will have no paid staff or pay dividends to individuals. The management will consist of members of the co-op undertaking the work on a voluntary basis.