Developing innovative buildings for living and working together.
Let’s build a house together. Flexible. Fair. Collective. Responsible.
Fair means affordable and not speculative. Flexible means easy-entry and exit of the housing cooperative, transformable interiors and adaptable living areas. Collective means resident participation in planning, in construction and within the housing cooperative. And last but not least responsable refers to a social and ecological responsable planning and construction process.
In Berlin it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a suitable and affordable apartment. Additionally, if one’s idea of living differs from the ideal of the standard family, you’re lost in the real estate market. Due to these circumstances we decided to bring together people who want to build and live collectively, help them to establish housing coops and develop housing projects together.
What's a coop
The alternative between owning and renting
A housing cooperative is a group of private individuals who want to build or acquire a house for personal use. The cooperative model was invented around 100 years ago in Germany. In Berlin, cooperatives to date account for 10% of the total housing stock.
In a cooperative, each member has the same right to vote, irrespective of the number of shares they own. Another advantage of cooperative living is the lifelong right to use. As a shareholder of the cooperative each member in effect leases their apartment to itself. Members are at the same time individual tenants and joint owners of the building.
Cooperatives act according to the non-profit principle, i.e. one pays only a constant low rent, the so-called usage fee. The cooperative is always the owner of the land, houses and apartments, a sale is not intended.
How we work
Principals, Participation, Process
The urban coop berlin eg, set itself the goal of creating environmentally compatible living spaces which are as socially and culturally balanced as possible and, in principle, available to all interested parties. By integrating our construction projects into their respective environment, we want to set a new standard for a socially, environmentally compatible and forward-looking urban development.
We follow the principles of self-determined, and participatory project development based on the social and ecological concerns of building and living. Various voluntary levels of participation are envisaged in the planning process.
First, each applicant can regulate the direction of the planning by specifying his / her living preferences. On the basis of these specifications, urban coop berlin eg develops the next construction project.
If we seal the purchase contract for a plot of land, our candidates can opt for membership in a housing cooperative specially established for that project.
We do all our planning work in advance until the point, when we can offer our candidates specific apartments for reservation. With the payment made at that point, our development work is paid off. Candidates then become members of the housing cooperative that’s to realize the project. After completion, the inhabitants can take over the object in self-management or leave it with the urban coop berlin eg.
Organisation, real estate, leasehold
The expert team at urban coop berlin eg has a wide range of skills and experience in project development and control, housing construction, sustainability, and community development. We develop each project in a participatory way with the prospective residents who have registered as candidates.
We provide the organizational structures to act quickly upon opportunities to purchase real estate and give security during the entire process, from the beginning of the planning to the completion of the construction.
We are continuously looking for property and real estate in Berlin, a task made difficult due to the immense price increases of recent years. For cooperatives, however, there are more possibilities due to their non-profit organization which commercial property developers are lacking. Furthermore we’re taking part in public tenders of the city of Berlin that are aimed exclusively at cooperatives that are capable of developing innovative housing concepts.
Our goal is to create affordable living space. In principle, the usage fees (rent) in the residential projects developed by urban coop berlin eg shall be affordable for as many people as possible. To achieve this, among other things, we support the concept of the hereditary building right. The cooperative instead of buying real estate is leasing it over a very long period of time, which means lower investment costs for coop members.
Ecology and social integration
With our projects, we contribute to social urban development by preventing soil speculation through leasing, taking into account the needs of the neighbors of a project, integrating persons with special needs through cooperation with social agencies, and offering fixed-rent apartments for WBS-entitled persons.
We attach great importance to ecological construction and natural building materials. This means that we pay attention to low resource consumption during manufacturing and use a simple design, preferably with standardized wooden elements, as well as simple technology, which is easy to repair. Energy is generated in the house itself, the Passivhausstandard is something we strive for. From the begging we plan for car-free and bike-friendly living.
Construction loans, own capital, government aid
Housing cooperatives are non-profit organisations and therefore tax-exempt, which allows the production of housing at more favorable conditions than that of free-market developers.
A minimum of 20 % of own capital by the members of the cooperative is required for the loan provision. For 80 % of the investment costs of a project, bank loans and government aid can be combined. The housing cooperative will use the collected rents to repay the loans. The equity will in principal be refunded upon leaving the cooperative.
Together with you, we want to develop exciting buildings for living and working. You can support us by becoming a part of our candidacy community now.
Becoming a candidate means that you will be involved in the planning of building projects and get to choose an apartment at the end of the process.
We will offer you various apartments for you to select and reserve as the project progresses. The position on the candidates list determines the right to choose first on a specific apartment.
The only condition is a place on our qualifying list, which you can purchase for 96 € per year. This contribution is helping us with the project development and makes sure that only highly motivated candidates are involved. The entitlement must not be paid further after the reservation of an apartment. Numbers on the candidacy list are issued in the order of payments received.
If you register now for a non-binding offer for a candidacy, you can immediately take part in our project development by describing your living preferences through a questionnaire. As part of the community of candidates, you furthermore gain the opportunity to meet other candidates with the same interests and make joint plans. The more candidates get involved, the more inspiring this exchange becomes and the faster we can realize the next project.