Membership Policy

1. What is Squeezed London? 

2. What does this policy do? 

  1. Membership of Squeezed London is governed by our Articles of Association. 

  2. This membership policy builds upon Section 38 of our Articles of Association, prescribing rules in order to

    1. Explain the relationship of Squeezed London to its Project Boards

    2. Explain the role, responsibilities and expectations of Directors of Squeezed London

    3. Explain the role, responsibilities and expectations of Members of Squeezed London and its Project Boards

    4. Explain the process for becoming or ceasing to be a Member of Squeezed London or one of its Project Board 

  3. For any questions about members’ liability, and the rights of members in decision-making, please refer to the Articles of Association and the Decision-Making Policy.

3. Squeezed London Directors

  1. As a Private Company Limited by Guarantee, Squeezed London is required to name Directors to represent the company in legal and regulatory context. 

  2. Directors are people who: 

    1. Are first and foremost Members of the Company, with the same rights and obligations as other Members

    2. Can be called upon to take decisions on behalf of the Company

    3. Sign an undertaking not to make decisions without consulting the wider membership, unless given prior approval to under delegated powers by the Membership in General Meeting 

  3. For the avoidance of doubt, it is both the norm and the expectation that decisions of Squeezed London will be taken by General Meeting in which Members are invited to discuss and vote on matters. 

  4. Should Directors wish to take decisions without Members present such as through a Directors Meeting, without having been given prior approval under delegated powers, all Members should be notified 7 days in advance by writing and provided with an explanation of why the situation merits a decision by Directors rather than all Members as is the norm. This allows, if relevant or required, Members to call a Special Resolution to Directors.

4. Squeezed London Member Expectations

  1. Members are people who

    1. Are seriously interested but do not need to be committed to living in a Squeezed London community

    2. have completed the membership application form, paid the annual fee, and have been accepted into membership

    3. participate in making decisions about the running and funding of Squeezed London

    4. commit to the Vision, Aims, Objectives and Principles of Squeezed London, and understand and observe the current policies and working practices of the company

    5. can contribute to the development of individual projects (governed by project boards) although they will not have direct decision-making on these projects unless they are a member of the project board

    6. are able to set up or apply to join one or more project boards within Squeezed London in order to make decisions on potential future projects 

  2. There is no maximum number of Members of Squeezed London. 

  3. Once you become a Member of Squeezed London, you are able to attend meetings, events and site visits, vote on matters relating to Squeezed London, and apply to join project boards for individual projects.

  4. Become a Member does not give you a guaranteed place in any project board nor any guarantee of a home within a Squeezed London project.

  5. You do not need to intend to live in one of the projects to become a Member of Squeezed London (you may, for example, want to volunteer your time to support the project). 

  6. As a Member of Squeezed London, you are expected to: 

    1. Understand, share and be committed to the vision, aims, objectives and principles of our community

    2. Attend at least two Squeezed London management meetings per year (usually monthly)

    3. Actively contribute to Squeezed London in whatever way you are able to (although we understand that everyone has different skills, expertise and time!). This could include supporting planning, research, administration, communications, delivering meetings and workshops, outreach with local communities, organising site visits and events, and any other activities which help to develop and promote Squeezed London and its aims.

    4. Pay a non-refundable Membership fee. The membership fee is set out on the Squeezed London website.

5. Squeezed London Member Process

  1. In order to become a Member of Squeezed London, you should:

    1. Come to a meeting of Squeezed London as an observer to meet Members and understand more about the project

    2. Fill in the Squeezed London Application Form and submit it to the existing Members

    3. Pay a non-refundable Membership fee.

    4. The existing Membership will then consider and approve the application through the process set out in the Decision-Making Policy 

  2. Termination of Membership: 

    1. You are free to terminate your Membership of Squeezed London at any time through notifying the company. 

    2. If any Member does not comply with the Squeezed London principles and is regarded as harmful to or is likely to be harmful to the interests of the Company, a resolution can be passed at a General Meeting through a majority vote. Such a resolution may not be passed unless the member has been given at least 7 days’ notice that the resolution is to be proposed, specifying the circumstances alleged to justify expulsion, and has been afforded a reasonable opportunity of being heard by Members. 

    3. On termination of Membership, any subscription fees paid or owed are still required to be paid and are non-refundable.

6. Project Board Members

  1. A Project Board can be set up within Squeezed London to allow Members to develop and make decisions on cohousing projects that Members wish to pursue. 

  2. It is expected that Members of Project Boards are seriously and actively intending to be potential future residents of that project. As projects develop, the ability of those individuals to continue to commit may change and membership of the Project Board is likely to change. 

  3. We would envisage that these individual projects upon or prior to completion would create their own companies which would be the mechanism by which residents can manage their communities. In the meantime, Squeezed London provides the governance and oversight to support them in this process and Project Boards are subject to the same protocols, regulation and principles as Squeezed London as a whole. 

  4. While the project board exists within Squeezed London, a nominated member of Squeezed London would sit on the project board in a non-executive capacity with the responsibility to ensure governance of Squeezed London policies. This nominated member need not have an intention to live in a project board home. This person would not have voting rights on decisions that affect the delivery of the project but can escalate issues to Squeezed London as per point E7.

  5. There is no limit to the number of Project Boards that can be established within Squeezed London. 

  6. A Project Board can be created by Members of Squeezed London through a vote as per the process set out in the Decision Making policy

  7. A Project Board can be dismantled by Squeezed London through the standard decision-making process. 

  8. A Project Board is expected to act autonomously from Squeezed London on the majority of decisions and development work. However they are required to:

    1. Report to Squeezed London on progress and decisions on request, when requested by the Directors of Squeezed London. 

    2. Seek approval by Squeezed London on decisions which:

      1. Involve the purchase of land

      2. Involve the creation of a new company

      3. Involve any other matters which are deemed by Squeezed London to have a financial, legal, regulatory, reputational or other risk to Squeezed London. 

  9. The number of Members of a Project Board will be limited to the envisaged number of households, plus a waiting list, that the potential scheme could accommodate, based on the best estimate of the Project Board Members at the time. 

  10. It will be the responsibility of the Project Board to maintain a waiting list maintained on a first-come-first-refusal basis. 

  11. As a Member of a Project Board, you are expected to actively contribute to the project as if it were your future home. 

  12. Once the Project has received planning permission or land is purchased (whichever happens first):

    1. a general meeting of Squeezed London will review whether the project should continue to be managed under Squeezed London or whether an independent legal entity is created. 

    2. Project Board members will sign a contract, underlining the significant financial and personal commitment being made, securing a home in the project, and covering the liabilities and responsibilities of both you and the Project Board and/or its corresponding company. 

  13. A Member of a Project Board is expected to:

    1. Be a Member of Squeezed London

    2. At the point of joining and based on the information available to you at that stage:

      1. be intending to be one of the ultimate residents of the project

      2. be able to self-certify that you have the financial capacity to purchase a home in the project

    3. Attend project board meetings and where they cannot will notify other members of non-attendance

    4. Will complete actions in a timely manner or notify other members when actions cannot be completed on time in order that help can be provided when necessary

    5. Actively contribute to the Project Board in whatever way you are able to to further the Project. 

    6. This could include supporting planning, research, administration, communications, delivering meetings and workshops, outreach with local communities, organising site visits and events, and any other activities which help to develop and promote the Project. 

    7. Each member will be expected to contribute around 6 hours per month to tasks. 

    8. Will approach decision making in a collaborative, open and constructive manner

    9. Will not do anything that would undermine or otherwise impede the successful delivery of the project

  14. In order to become a Member of a Project Board, you must: 

    1. Submit a request in writing to the Members of the Project Board to join the Project Board alongside a completed application form

    2. Existing Members of the Project Board will consider the application and decide through a vote whether to formalise that individual as a Member of the Project Board.

  15. A Member of a Project Board can stand down from the Project Board at any time through written request. 

  16. Any member can bring a resolution to a Project Board that a member should be removed from the project. All current Project Board members are required to vote, apart from the member whose removal is sought. This member is excluded from voting on this matter. If the vote to remove the member is unanimously in favour, then the Member will be removed with immediate effect and will lose all voting rights in relation to the Project Board.

  1. Squeezed London (the trading name for London Co-Housing Ltd) is a Private Company Limited by Guarantee. 

  2. Our aims and objectives are straightforward. We aim to build housing that is affordable and provides options to the 'squeezed middle' of mid-earning families looking to find permanent housing in London's over-inflated housing market. We aim to build homes that meet the specific needs of the Members who intend to live in them. We aim to design and build communities through shared decision-making and follow that through into the communities that we live in, with shared management and shared spaces. We aim to contribute positively to the communities in which we build and create a sense of community between our projects and their surroundings. We aim to build highly sustainable homes that keep costs low for residents. 

  3. Squeezed London is an umbrella organisation. As a company, it provides the overall governance, accountability and oversight of the individual cohousing projects that members create and manage through the form of project boards (see diagram and below for more detail).