Learning more about a hybrid legal structure with a cooperative: appointment with Joost to be made

@reef-finance: I have received a reply from Joost, the founder of De Okelaar. He is a qualified lawyer and in charge of the financial aspects in Okelaar.

He says he is willing to make time for us to answer our questions about a hybrid legal structure with a cooperative to manage the common spaces. He charges 50 euro / hour + VAT.

He asked to send him some proposals for time slots (in the evening) and as many questions as we can think of.

Would somebody be willing to take the lead on this one?

PS: This is the list of questions I sent in my initial email

  • What happens if there is not enough revenue to pay out a dividend?
  • Any other risks linked to the cooperative legal structure?
  • How was the financing in Okelaar divided between cohousing owners and family/friends/fools?
  • For financing (i.e. money brought in) by cohousing owners: how did the bank handle this? Is it possible to get a mortgage for this, or is this something people need to be able to pay for by themselves?
  • How did you manage to convince the family/friends/fools to invest in Okelaar?
  • What happens if a cohousing owner sells their unit?

@alberto and @GiuSeb: would you be willing to take this one on?

Since we are paying here, we should be moving with extra care. I propose to put this item onto the agenda of @reef-finance’s next meeting. I started a document to prepare the questions, and added this acivity to the relevant Deck card. At the same time, I know Céline had taken on the task, and do not want to duplicate any work she might already be doing. Where are you with this, Céline?

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Sorry, I had forgotten about this. Sorry for interfering!

Actually, I am no longer sure this is a good idea. The agenda is now pretty dense.

@Celine_D, if memory serves you were on this, but I am aware that you have been working on other stuff. Would you like to touch base on this at the meeting of the 18th? Or just pospone it? Or even re-assign the task?

I can do some research by Thursday and review what we should discuss with Joost. At the meeting we’ll see whether I can go on with the task or we should divide it.

I’m sorry, I seem not to remember having taking on this task, I don’t know what happened. And it looks like I haven’t found the right balance yet between having too few notifications and having so many of them I cannot follow them up properly :confused:

I may be misremembering, would not be the first time. :slightly_smiling_face: If it’s too much say no, someone else will take it up.

If you need help with notification settings, I can help!

Adding to @Lee’s list of questions:

  • How much work does it take to run a cooperative? Accounting, legal obligations like VAT declarations, etc?
  • More in general, would you agree that a cooperative is a good solution when the common spaces are used as the foundation for some kind of commercial or entrepreneurial activity?
  • What can you say about alternatives to the cooperative, for example Casa Nova’s foundation?

@reef-finance, do you want to add other questions, or shall we stop here, and then we can move on to making the appointment?

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Thanks Alberto. No other questions from me.
By the way, the project I vaguely remembered yesterday is Habitat groupé Tivoli. They created a foundation, so we could add it as an example in the question next to Casa Nova (the scope and purposes of those two foundations are different).
Habitat Groupé Tivoli is not a CLT (there will be a CLT just across their street in a few years’ time), however it is built on public land (CityDev) through a “bail emphytéotique de 99 ans” (more info (2017) here Habitat groupé Tivoli - Habitat Groupé Solidaire (habitat-groupe.be) and here Un habitat groupé et solidaire à Tivoli GreenCity | citydev.brussels - ping @reef-inclusion )

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This is maybe an interesting document from La Ferme de Lizéé: https://www.fermedelizee.org/post/soutenez-des-projets-qui-ont-du-sens-appel-à-coopérateurs-chez-cozéop-à-la-ferme-de-lizée?

Beneath the first two paragraphs there is a link to a pdf that explains in detail what it entails to become a “Type C shareholder”. Seems like good information to understand the legal stuff a little better?

Yes, I do think it is useful information about cooperatives.

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Hey Guys, did we finally meet Joost? Is there a document with answers? Thank you :grinning:!

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