A Very Social Enterprise
Last week, NOW reported on an affordable housing cooperative run by Coin Street Community Builders in a prime section of London. Coin Street provides 220 homes for moderate or low-income tenants. Click here to watch the show. Coin Street operates commercial ventures, the profits of which it plows back into its core operation—providing affordable housing. Coin Street calls itself a "social enterprise," which it defines, as:
... a business which does not distribute profits from its commercial activities but uses them to cross-subsidise activities which otherwise would not be viable. Thus income from letting space to commercial businesses partly finances the space but also funds community facilities and programmes, as well as staff to maintain the riverside walkway, clear litter, tend Bernie Spain Gardens and organise festival events.
The people behind Coin Street hope others will learn from their success:
You don't have to look far to find neighbourhoods where planners and developers have ignored the needs of existing communities and created 'regenerated' areas with neither heart nor soul. This need not be so. After reading this booklet we hope you will agree that there is another way...Check out their booklet, A Very Social Enterprise, to learn how they did it.