Planet X

Chippendale, NSW

Planet X Housing Co-operative in Chippendale, Sydney is home to 18 adults and 1 child of diverse ages. The co-op was established in 1987 under the Community Housing Program by a group of single people seeking secure, affordable inner-city housing. In 1996, it moved into a three-level building containing 12 one-bedroom, studio and loft apartments. In 2002, the co-op added two 3-bedroom houses in Marrickville to accommodate two living groups.

Category: Cooperatives

 

About the project

 

Planet X Housing Co-operative in Chippendale, Sydney is home to 18 adults and 1 child of diverse ages. The co-op was established in 1987 under the Community Housing Program by a group of single people seeking secure, affordable inner-city housing. In 1996, it moved into a three-level building containing 12 one-bedroom, studio and loft apartments. In 2002, the co-op added two 3-bedroom houses in Marrickville to accommodate two living groups.

 

The building stands out from its neighbours due to the bright pink paint that highlights its balconies. The apartments are arranged around a pleasant courtyard filled with plants, sculpture and places to rest and relax.

 

Co-op members pay rent calculated at 25% of gross income, up to a maximum equivalent to local market rent.

 

The community

 

The Planet X community is an intergenerational LGBTIQA+ community, committed to social justice, diversity, participation and cooperation. The co-op gives priority to women, people of colour and non-binary or transgender people when seeking new tenants, recognising that people from these communities can find it difficult to secure housing.

 

Co-op members are also committed to sustainable housing principles. Members are encouraged to access an ongoing training budget to build their capacity.

 

Tenants use the communal courtyard to hold social events together, such as film screenings, clothes swaps and an annual ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration. The courtyard is open but undercover, providing a convenient space for the tenants to spend time together.

 

Planet X is also engaged with their local community, allowing other like-minded community groups to make use of their office space and providing support and mentorship for new housing co-operatives.

 

Project snapshot
What is shared?
How did it happen?
Legalities

Governance

The Chippendale building has an outside courtyard, originally a carpark, that has been repurposed as a communal social space. Tenants also share a laundry, a clothesline, a storage room, a library, a bathroom with a bathtub (apartments only have showers) and an office space.

After its establishment, Planet X searched for 10 years before finding its building in Chippendale. Common Equity Housing NSW (CENSW) inherited the former public housing property and now leases it to the co-op. CENSW is the peak body for housing cooperatives in NSW and provides support to co-ops to manage their own properties.

Planet X is an incorporated body, with the adult members as directors. Only one member is allowed per household. The co-op aims to have at least 65% of its tenant members that meet the income eligibility requirements for public housing, as determined by the NSW Department of Housing.

Members meet at least monthly and decisions are made by consensus. Members are expected to attend at least 75% of General Meetings and to take part in sub-committees on a rotating basis. These committees cover Finance, Maintenance, Rent, Tenancy Management, External Affairs, Common Area/Gardening, Policy, Conflict Resolution, Office and Training.

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