• Visit Copenhagen, Vienna and Zurich
  • Explore Europe’s large affordable co-op housing sectors for answers to the Australian housing crisis
  • An intimate learning experience
  • Suitable for key decision makers with an interest in addressing the current housing crisis, including: elected representatives and senior policymakers at all levels of government; philanthropic and community foundation representatives; superannuation executives; co-operative housing bodies; mutual housing lenders; and other co-ops and mutuals
  • Learn from co-op housing experts in each country and by your guide Dr Sidsel Grimstad from Griffith Centre for Systems Innovation
  • The Tour is a collaboration between the BCCM and Griffith Centre for Systems Innovation, Griffith University

You are invited to join the BCCM’s European co-operative housing study tour in April 2024. Visit Copenhagen, Vienna and Zurich and learn about the housing co-operative model and its benefits. The tour will cover a variety of affordable co-operative housing models and examine financing mechanisms that have ensured the growth of these sectors.

Australia has a housing affordability and accessibility problem. The co-operative housing models can provide affordable, secure, sustainable, empowering and community-oriented housing solutions and offer a vital contribution to help tackle this crisis. The rental housing co-operative model is a small but well-established part of the community housing sector in Australia, but its advantages are not well known. The prevalence of shared or limited equity model of housing co-operatives, in which residents contribute to the cost of housing, is unknown in Australia. Rental and limited/shared equity housing co-operatives can offer a crucial “missing middle” to the available housing options.

This is a boutique tour with limited places, which will enable close access and practical experiences with co-operatives and their leaders. The BCCM has a strong track record of informative, purposeful and enjoyable study tours, including a tour of UK mutuals and a US East Coast study tour of social care co-ops and mutuals, both in 2018.

Participants will:

  • Visit housing co-operatives and meet with co-op housing members, hear the stories of how they were developed and get a first-hand understanding of the benefits for residents of affordable co-operative housing.
  • Learn about the development of the large affordable housing co-operative sectors and the financing and legal systems that made the growth of these sectors possible.
  • Obtain an understanding of the societal benefits and social impact of affordable co-operative housing. Assess how we can support the growth of housing co-operatives in Australia.

The tour will be guided by:

  • Dr Sidsel Grimstad– an academic at the Griffith Centre for SystemsInnovation with expertise on housing co-operatives and who has been a housing co-operative resident in Norway
  • Melina Morrison – BCCM CEO

Itinerary

Copenhagen, Denmark (3 days incl. travel)

In Copenhagen, we will primarily explore the rental housing co-op sector (Almene boliger), which offers affordable housing to 22 per cent of Danish households. It forms part of social housing and their model of tenant involvement in financial and maintenance management decisions is unique in Europe. We will visit a rental housing co-operative in CBD Copenhagen, targeting disadvantaged groups in the housing market.

Vienna, Austria (3 days incl travel)

Vienna has a long history of providing affordable housing to 40 per cent of its inhabitants through limited-profit housing associations. Around 20 per cent of the housing market comprises affordable rental cooperatives with strong public and private finance support. We will visit the Austrian Federation of Housing Associations, individual housing co-ops and also meet with city planners and financial institutions that have made the growth and stability of the sector possible.

Zurich, Switzerland (3 days incl travel)

Zurich has strong government support for Limited-profit housing co-op development, which comprises around 25 per cent of the housing sector. We will meet with the Federation for Zurich Co-operative Housing and visit individual housing co-operatives such as Kalkbreite, Kraftwerk, Heizenholz and Mehr Als Wohnen.

Cost and inclusions

2024 indicative cost is AUD $19,000.00 per person subject to internal European flight costs (excluding flights to and from Europe).

Participants are to make their way to Copenhagen. The tour will visit Copenhagen, Vienna and Zurich.

Price includes accommodation and breakfast in 4-star hotels, transport for the whole tour (excluding flights to and from Europe) and some meals. There is an option to have the BCCM travel agent organise flights to and from Europe.

Bookings

This is now booked out.

Download the European housing co-operatives study tour flyer.