The Confederation of Co-operative Housing Announces 2020 Award Winners

The Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the umbrella body for housing co-operatives in the UK, is pleased to announce the winners of the CCH 2020 Annual Awards.

In their inaugural year, the awards were set up to help show the world how great housing co-operatives can be. We wanted to reward our members for all the amazing things that they do, day in, day out, things that are amazing and that we want people to hear about.

CCH had anticipated a fabulous award ceremony at their 2020 annual conference, but unfortunately the pandemic had other ideas, and so the results had to be delayed pending, what we had hoped, would be a ceremony later in the year.  Again, this was not an option, so we are pleased to announce the results here.

Active Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by CCH 

Winner:  Margaret Cope – Paddock Housing Co-op 

Margaret Cope is the epitome of what living in a Co-op and being a Co-op member is all about and is a real advocate for Co-op Housing.   In the late 1980’s, Margaret was instrumental in the formation of Paddock Housing Co-op, when very little was known about the Co-op world. Along with 10 other members, she volunteered her time by attending numerous meetings and training sessions and her dedication and commitment became the driving force, and over a 5-year period the first 10 houses for Paddock Housing Co-op were built.

Margaret’s presence has been influential, and over the last 40 years she has managed to get support from the local Council, various MP’s and the backing of the then Housing Corporation to further develop Paddock Housing and promote Housing Co-ops as the best form of social housing.

Margaret has promoted co-op housing through various boards and still sits on many of them, including bchs Partnership Board, of which she is the Chair, and also Accord HA’s Communities Board.

Margaret said “It’s so wonderful to be recognised for the work I have done, and I’m really honoured to know that others feel I’ve made such a positive impact.”

Margaret is an institution and CCH is very pleased to present her with this special award.

Innovative Housing Co-operative of the Year – Sponsored by Anthony Collins Solicitors 

Winner: North Camden Housing Co-op 

North Camden had a 15 unit 3 storey building on a corner plot in Kentish Town, built in 1983, which over time had presented several long-term problems related to its design and construction.  The co-op undertook a feasibility study which presented 3 different options and the co-op took the bold step to secure a substantial loan and embark on a full environmental redesign and renovation of the building.

The redesign included a Passivhaus concept upgrading the building with external insulation, triple glazed windows, good levels of airtightness and heat recovery ventilation. The opportunity was also taken to redesign the five bedsits in the property into one-bedroom flats, whilst keeping the integrity of the original design.  In addition, to help combat fuel poverty, the gas supply has been completely removed from the building and Photovoltaic roof panels were installed.

There were detailed discussions and considerations for the project, leading to works starting on site in 2018 and finishing in 2019.  Carlton Chapel House is a truly sustainable and innovative solution fit for the future.

Shortlist:              Bushbury Hill TMC

Ross Walk Housing Co-op


Housing Co-operator of the Year – Sponsored by Co-op Homes 

Winner: Alam Navsa – Maynard Co-operative Housing Association 

Alam has been Chair of Maynard Co-operative Housing Association for the last 25 years, crusading community-led housing and steering the co-op’s success, all while bringing up three children and running a full-time business.

After joining the management committee in 1995, he became Chair within a month.  Alam set about recruiting fellow tenants to create a newly reinvigorated committee and with their support, he turned the co-op around introducing a long-term improvement plan to bring the housing stock up to the Decent Homes Standard including sourcing funding for a multi-million pound programme of insulation work.

Under his leadership, the co-op was able to buy a derelict building in 2013 and refurbish it to create four new flats, increasing its stock to 118 homes in the Highfields area of Leicester. Having secured funding to buy another two houses, he and fellow committee members are currently working to find other suitable properties.

Amongst many other initiatives, Alam has introduced tablets for committee members, opened a local office, promoted tenant involvement by introducing twice yearly outings and fun days, promoted the co-op to local youth organisations and developed a committee members’ training programme and personal development reviews.

Shortlist:              Brian O’Hare – Huyton Community Co-operative for the Elderly

Joe Parham – Fairhazel Housing Co-op

Mary Smyth – Quadrant Brownswood Housing Co-op


Breakthrough Housing Co-operative of the Year – Sponsored by North West Housing Services 

Winner: Bunker Housing Co-op 

Bunker was set up as a self-build housing co-op in 2015 with the goal of housing low-income families.  They are currently working at different stages of development on 5 different BHCC sites in the City of Brighton with the aim of providing 15 new homes.

Their first pilot project at Plumpton Road is receiving considerable local and cross-coop support and is being used to build a tool kit and database of skills, contacts and information that is already helping the many other co-ops planning to build in the city over the coming years.

They have completed the first stage of becoming a registered provider of Social Housing via the regulator (RSL) and have received a £10k Grant from Community Led Homes to pay for becoming an RP, working with Beacon Partnership to complete this process.

About the CCH Awards 

Launched in 2020 the awards were the brainchild of CCH Board member Tom Hopkins.  Tom said ‘we had some great entries for our first year and we had some very worthy winners.  The Housing Co-operator of the Year award was very difficult to judge, to the point where we created a special CCH award for Active Lifetime Achievement and we were very pleased to honour Margaret with this award, she has worked so hard for the housing co-op movement over many years.

The 2021 awards will be launched in the next few weeks and we look forward to, hopefully, having a face-to-face ceremony later in the year.