Welcome to Stonehill Cohousing

A group of people working to set up a new cohousing community outside of Abingdon

Stonehill Cohousing is an offshoot of Oxford Cohousing, consisting of 9 households (14 adults and 8 children between the ages of 2 and 16). We have been working together since November 2022 to establish a cohousing cooperative at Stonehill House located south of Abingdon, 7 miles outside of Oxford. Private renting and homeownership in the United Kingdom, and Oxfordshire especially, has become increasingly unaffordable for a large majority of the population. We’re a group of individuals who wish to live in an intentional community that is designed to mutually benefit its members and has strong links to the wider local community.

The site we are looking to purchase comprises one large house, two cottages, two outhouses / studios and two barns – one currently in a state of disrepair. It sits on a large plot of land comprising 19 acres of mixed woodland and fields. There is room to house all 9 households on the site.

Who are we?

Our 9 member households include a diverse range of professional, occupational expertise and incomes. Our members have experience working in architecture and construction, science and technology, community housing, dance, research, climate change and sustainability, digital marketing, humanitarianism, and health and wellbeing.

Together we have varied experiences of communal living and community building, including through volunteering in therapeutic communities, religious communities, and the charities sector. Between us we have skills gained from diverse relevant experiences in the social and community sector: setting up two housing co-ops, establishing a children’s allotment and running a community-based co-working space to name a few. We have professional experience in project management, fund-raising, managing budgets and outreach.

Values

The group is committed to inclusion and affordability. We welcome those of diverse backgrounds, and work to be inclusive of neurodiversity, different national and linguistic backgrounds, and LGBTQ+ families and individuals. Among the group are families with care-experienced children and families who are engaged in fostering. Each member’s monthly contributions will be based on their ability to pay with our financial model guaranteeing affordability in the long-term.

Social and environmental vision

Stonehilll House is located adjacent to the Abingdon Caldecott Ward (bordering LSOA 008B and 008C), an area with high levels of deprivation. The neighbouring area is categorised as within the 20% most deprived areas nationally, and within the 10% most deprived specifically on education, skills and training, with a child poverty rate of 31%, and an above average rate of older people living alone.

Our members have strong social connections in this area, and involvement in ongoing community initiatives. The rewilded areas of the Stonehill property are the closest and only natural spaces within walking distance of these areas of high deprivation.

Our vision for Stonehill is to become an integrated part for the Abingdon Caldecott community, through the establishment of a forest school on the property, by hosting community events and supporting the established community garden adjacent to the house. In addition to the land, the barn offers us a venue to host events and activities that expand our reach into the local community and further afield.

This outward focus combined with the opportunity to expand the supply of housing units on the site mean that Stonehill House represents not just an opportunity for low impact, affordable, cooperative living but could also represent a major community hub for the surrounding area and beyond.

Can I join?

Membership of the group is currently closed as we have reached the capacity for the initial phase of the project. However, prospective members who would like to explore joining Stonehill over the coming years can get in touch at info@stonehillcohousing.org to join our mailing list.