Why did we select this case?
The founders of "Mietshäuser Syndikat" (tenements syndicate) connect successful co-housing projects in Germany to support self-organised, social housing projects, suggesting an effective template for dealing with housing in cities.
About the case
The founders of "Mietshäuser Syndikat" (tenements syndicate), a network of co-housing projects in Germany, found that many self-organised co-housing projects were falling due to challenges in the early phases with legal issues, finances, and group dynamics. In addition to this, many co-housing projects did not have the capacity to support each other.
In response to this The Mietshäuser Syndikat was created to support self-organised, social housing projects, by linking successful established projects with emerging ones to give guidance while simultaneously reducing re-commercialization by ensuring all inhabitants co-own all real estate assets of all co-housing projects.
For a co-housing initiative to join The Mietshäuser Syndikat certain requirements need to be met "The co-housing project needs to be self-organized by its residents, and a house and a financing plan must be on hand. Once the co-housing project establishes a secure financial basis, it needs to support new projects that are in the critical, cost-intensive early phases, the same way it received help when it began. The MHS Association represents all inhabitants of all co-housing projects and has a veto right when it comes to reprivatization and commercial exploitation of individual projects. Regarding any other issue concerning the residents, loans, rents, and renovation, the co-residents themselves make decisions on behalf of their own cohousing association" (Sharing Cities, Activating the Urban commons).
Since 1983, the network has grown to consist of 111 cohousing projects with a total of about 3,000 residents.
Twenty-one initiatives throughout the country are in the process of joining the network.
Spin-offs like “habiTat” in Linz, Austria, have been established in other countries.