ABROAD, voluntary cooperatives have produced thousands of houses for low bracket wage-earners. Really poor families have thug been enabled to buy their homes. In Spain and Latin America this has often been done on a diocesan and parochial basis.
A number of pilot schemes have been tried out in this country. Two successful cooperatives for house-purchase have been operated at Addys Lawn, Willesden, and subsequently in Rutland Park Gardens.
In the first case, tenants of a block of 12 flats were faced, under the Rent Act, with greatly increased rent or diction. Must of them had no safeguards of any kind, and they went in a body to ask advice from a solicitor.
He advised them to form a co-op, and managed to Interest Willesden Borough Council In their case. The landlord was approached, and he agreed to sell. The Council advanced a 90 per cent mortgage to the newlyformed co-operative to enable it to buy the leasehold.
Inspired by this, a group of tenants, In a terrace of houses divided into flats In nearby Rutland Park Gardens, also formed a co-operative, and succeeded in obtaining a 100 per cent mortgage of the Local Authority (as the L.A.'s leaning power had been Increased In the Interval).
The Addy, Lawn co-operative has now succeeded in acquiring the freehold as well, and the tenants of both co-ope are now paying in rent less than half the rent they would have to pay for comparable accommodation In the same area.
l'he sum they pay as rent, furthermore, includes water, light, repairs and depreciation.