Co-Director Master’s course in social and Collaborative Housing
Co-founder of Cohousing. it
Visiting Service design Professor for the Facolt`a del design, Politecnico di Milano
Since 2013, we have started to implement a model of Community Start Up Process (CSP) for Social and Affordable Housing projects (SAH). We developed our project in the framework of a national funding programme for SAH.
One of our major projects, Cenni di Cambiamento (Cenni), is a pioneer in the sector of Collaborative Housing, sort of ‘manifesto’ for funding, PP partnership, architectural design, social management, and the CSP model, first tested and implemented in Cenni in 2013.
In the SAH projects we carried out residents may share space and services with their neighbours so that they can perform all of the tasks related to the daily life without needing all the required resources in their own home.
To spread and facilitate collaborative initiatives in the housing environment we enable individuals and groups to build their own neighbourhoods by making them available: 1. tools to facilitate organization and communication, 2. spaces other than those strictly residential and for free, 3. a structured pathway, resources and knowledge to speed up the process of group building and collaborative services implementation.
On these bases, we set up a CSP prototype, that: 1. follows a pathway since 6 months prior to arrival of the first residents up to one year after they have taken up home; 2. trains the tenants to establish a high level of trust and collaboration in planning and managing shared services and communal spaces, and in drawing up self-governing rules; 3. ends up with the birth of a tenants’ association or other governance body appropriate for promoting and running collaborative services and activities.
Across Italy, the CSP has been already implemented in 7 different SAH developments. Planned in 6 ongoing projects, it will be used over the next 2 years in a further 10. This means we a have involved in the CSP around 1,200 households, we are now dealing with 998 more, and we will be engaging further 3,200 by 2025. Our ultimate goal is making replicable an experience otherwise up until now spontaneous; i.e. trying to put into place tools which will allow spreading the model.
Social and affordable housing is a global challenge and this project manages to combine well co-creative design, implementation and community building at the same time.