Housing – or Homes? An Introduction to Co Housing, as it could be applied to Gwynedd

Co-housing is a latecomer to the UK although already widespread in mainland Europe and North America. Most of the examples built to date in the UK are new, purpose-built by better-off idealists to be super energy-efficient.

But the UK is full of old, energy-inefficient housing stock. Gwynedd has the oldest. An Introduction to Co-Housing, as it could be applied to Gwynedd is to be the topic of a talk organised by Bangor University and the University Students’ Geography Society.  Housing or Homes? Takes place at 6.00 on Monday November 21 in Room g23 of the University’s Thoday Building on Deiniol Road. The talk is open to all and free.

Frances Voelcker is a recently-retired architect, whose focus before retirement was on energy-efficiency in older solid-walled buildings. She is a long-time sustainability activist, and a Quaker. Frances will introduce the concept of co-housing; and open the question of how it could be applied in existing settlements.

She says; “Co-housing can suit older people wanting to down-size without losing guest rooms, people of any age who are solo and feel isolated, people without children who like to be around families, people with children who want the support of a wider network  - as well as safe outdoor play areas. It is about developing community for the long term wellbeing of people and planet. It is a way of living not a lifestyle. And it is not easy!”

Frances explains that it is the common ground between the Quaker principles of equality, simplicity, peace, truth and justice; the difficulty of reducing our environmental footprints while living comfortably; and the re-emergence of housing injustice in the UK, which have led her to investigate the idea of co-housing.

Dr Eifiona Thomas-Lane, Lecturer in Environmental Management ATH THE School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Frances Voelcker to speak with us and set us thinking about new solutions to current housing problems. If you are interested in housing justice, our environmental footprint or community and Transition, come to the talk and feed in your ideas!”

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Publication date: 14 November 2016