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The Cooperative as Legal Form for Cohousing Projects in the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate: A Status Report

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This paper focuses on empirical research into cohousing initiatives in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate that take the legal form of cooperatives. Cooperatives play an increasingly important role in Germany's growing cohousing stock but are distributed unevenly across the federal states, with very few located in Rhineland-Palatinate. The establishment of cohousing cooperatives in any location is influenced by the availability of finance, legal requirements, and interactions with a host of local actors such as consultants, architects, and institutions like banks and municipalities. Internal dynamics in the groups organizing cohousing also play a role in the selection of legal form. In this article, we examine how the professionals, institutions, the framework of support structures, and the administrative environment impact the development of this housing sector in Rhineland-Palatinate. Our research found that financing programmes, advisory services and the allocation of public land available for building sites varies from state to state, as does the availability of external consultants and their level of expertise. Acting, in part, on our research findings, the semi-rural state of Rhineland-Palatinate implemented several measures in support of cooperative cohousing initiatives designed to increase the stock of this particular housing variant.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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