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Wales Co-operative Centre – Community financing in action

Tir Cyffredin Housing Coop has secured £180,000 in community investment to secure its future as affordable housing.

A housing co-op in Machynlleth has raised £180,000 to secure their home for affordable housing. Thanks to offers of £180,000 in loans from members of the public Tir Cyffredin housing co-op will now be able to provide seven secure rentals and an informal community hub for generations. In a nail-biting fundraising campaign the final amount needed was raised in the last 24 hours.

Members of Tir Cyffredin, who had faced homelessness if they hadn’t been successful thanked supporters on Facebook, ‘Diolch o’r galon! Thanks from the heart! we are now excitedly looking forwards to the next step, and contemplating a future’ They also thanked the owner of the house who has reduced the asking price to make it affordable to the group, and Allan Shepherd, community-led housing officer at the Wales Co-operative Centre.

Allan, who has supported the group for the past 12 months joined in the celebrations. He said: ‘I am excited to see a new housing co-op arrive in Mid-Wales. My job is to help communities create homes so this makes my day. The fact that Tir Cyffredin secured in pledges £40,000 more than they actually needed is a stunning achievement and a testament to all their hard work. It also shows a real appetite amongst the public to support schemes where there is genuine community involvement.’

‘This is community financing in action. People see the need to support affordable housing in their area and offering a loan at a low interest rate to housing co-ops is one way of doing it. There is a risk to investors because the loans are not secured by any guarantees but historically housing co-ops have successfully used this method of raising finance and paid back their loans. At the moment there isn’t any capital funding from government for projects like this, so the community has to step in to make it happen.’

The loan stock pledges are now being assessed by the co-op who will let potential investors know what combination of loan and mortgage will give them the best chance of success over the next 40 years and beyond. They hope to purchase their home before Christmas.

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