July 28, 2022

Co-housing Greece: Empowering communities of Greece with knowledge on sustainable practices of commoning in housing and use of space

Homelessness and lack of access to affordable housing, as well as lack of shared spaces that can facilitate social synergies and support the development of communities and cooperative activities are the main challenges that we try to address through our work. Our associations are developing cooperative spaces and co-housing projects and provide support to community initiatives that seek co-housing solutions and maintain spaces collectively. As such, we need to develop long-term cross-border cooperation and partnerships with experienced organisations and networks that can support the professional development of our staff, improve our ability to sustainably finance and develop cooperative projects, and can further assist us to share this knowledge and to support active communities and groups that develop cooperative spaces and co-housing projects.

Within this, we have defined two key areas that we would like to develop. The first relates to our internal capacity to utilise proven methods and tools of financial and administrative development from different social and cooperative housing models that exist in Europe, and to further adopt this knowledge to our local context and needs. The second area concerns our ability to disseminate this knowledge and to provide meaningful assistance and support to existing and upcoming community groups that wish to establish and maintain cooperative spaces/housing. In addition, it is important to expand the social and intercultural competences of our staff and to add new perspectives and skills that can help them develop new ways of problem solving for our challenges.

In relation to our internal capacity we would like to expand our knowledge of the different models and approaches of cohabitation and to improve our ability to plan the financial and administrative development of such approaches, including planning of financial and social activities that foster the long-term sustainability of these models. That is why we would like to enable our staff to participate in educational activities and job shadowing learning methods, that improve key competencies through the creative combination of theory and practice.

Furthermore, we would like to improve our ability to adopt, utilise and share this knowledge by developing educational and training activities that promote neighbourhood cooperation and the evolution of cooperative spaces and co-housing solutions within the greater community. Therefore, we like to improve the didactic competences of our staff and equip them with new concepts and innovative teaching methods and tools. This will improve our ability to share this knowledge with the community and to provide meaningful assistance and support to existing and upcoming community groups.

We plan to expand the social and intercultural competences of our staff, to help them develop new perspectives, ideas and approaches, and to enable them to better reflect on their own work as well as the work of the communities we support. We are very interested in reaching diverse community groups through educational activities and to generate new educational opportunities and projects. We want to see innovative approaches and synergies developing within the community, and this is why we directly support community members to expand their perspectives and to learn from experienced communities that develop projects in other European countries, by involving them in the educational activities despite possible linguistic barriers they might face.

Through this project, which is a continuation of our cooperation but also a step forward for our partnership, we want to pursue long-term cooperation and sharing of knowledge that will lead to the development of sustainable approaches and solutions to common problems such as homelessness and lack of affordable housing, that exist in Greece but also across Europe. The gradual expansion of our knowledge and operational capacity combined with the acquisition of didactic, social and intercultural competences will improve our ability to support both the evolution of cooperative spaces and co-housing initiatives, but also to facilitate the growth of our knowledge network and of partnerships and practices for sustainable development.