Old Oak Housing Co-operative - Carmarthen, Wales

old oak
  • Old Oak Housing Co-operative was set up to manage 27 intermediate rent family homes in Carmarthen. One of the Welsh Government’s pioneer co-operative housing schemes, it was originally initiated by Carmarthenshire County Council
  • The Council asked Gwalia Housing (part of the Pobl Group since 2016), to develop the site and initiate development of the housing co-operative
  • With founding members drawn from the Council’s waiting list in late 2014, Gwalia worked with the Confederation for Co-operative Housing and the Wales Co-operative Centre to get the co-operative up and running
  • The completed homes are owned by Gwalia who have signed a management agreement with Old Oak Co-operative to enable the residents to manage the services they want to take on
  • Deciding on this involved extensive training and development work with the tenants and working in partnership with a wide range of Gwalia staff
  • The co-op quickly developed a strong sense of identity and it has chosen to take control of most of the housing services, with the exception of managing rents
  • Members moved into their homes at the end of 2016

“We are delighted to see co-operative housing schemes in Carmarthenshire progressing well. We have been at the forefront of co-operative housing in Wales and see it as an important contribution towards our strategic aim of providing a range of affordable housing options for local people.” Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Member for Housing, Carmarthenshire County Council

“This has been a positive experience for all the staff involved. They have been really motivated by Old Oak’s development. We wanted to offer the founder members considerable opportunity to take control of their homes and they have really responded positively to the opportunity. It’s been a fantastic partnership so far." Nick Read, Head of Housing, Gwalia

Other examples of ‘top down meets bottom up’ schemes in Wales can be found in an online guide on the Wales Cooperative Centre website.


Published in March 2018