COPSANT SCCL is a non-profit, integral housing and consumers cooperative, born in Balestui village, in the heart of the Pyrenees. Our goal is to free the cooperative’s lands up, providing rural land to local producers, promoting life rooted in the territory. At the same time, we believe in community life, a resilient lifestyle caring about others. Besides, we fight for an essential right such as decent and affordable housing.
Through the ‘matchfunding’ initiative, driven by ‘Arrela’t a l’Alt Pirineu i Aran 2022’, we aim to restore the ancient hay loft of Cossant house in Balestui. This space will become the Alive Lands Bank’s head office, promoting small projects in which eco-social transformation and environmental caring will be key lines.
What your donations will be for?
Cossant’s House hay loft needs an urgent structural restoration of the roof and ground (defined as ceiling of the level 0). As you can see, in the project’s budget, every item is detailed under the title of ‘hay loft ceiling structure’ and ‘roof construction’.
The restoration is going to be done through self-building workshops, being supervised by the architectural cooperative COOP D’ERA (https://coopdera.org/), based on Pallars Sobirà. The budget, where all the expenses of the project are detailed, has also been done by COOP D’ERA.
Our goal is to reach the optimum budget, in order to carry out the basic interventions for the hay loft restoration, such as the roof, windows and thermal isolation. Optimum budget does not cover just the structural part, but allows us to give born to this social meeting space, a place where organize formations, workshops, talks, cultural and environmental activities, besides being the Alive Lands Bank’s head office.
We, people living in Cossant House, have varied backgrounds, such as mountain guiding, environmental education, agroecology, scenic arts, holistic therapies, writing, culture and arts in a wide sense. Hence, activities organized in the restored hay loft will be related to these disciplines. However, we are delighted to welcome new associates with new ideas, in order to increase Copsant Community Space circle.
What is an integral housing and, consumers and users cooperative?
Integral cooperative is a first-degree cooperative with socio-economic commitments. There are several first-degree cooperatives such as farming, maritime, education, associated labour, health, services…From all of them, we are a housing and, consumers and users cooperative.
The cooperative housing model is based on, the non-profit cooperative organization to provide an affordable and decent housing to its associates. Each shareholder or associate in the housing cooperative is granted the right to occupy a housing unit, through an initial payment and a monthly quote. These coops understand houses as user’s goods rather than market investment. We’re focused on community and are designed to meet the common social, caring and cultural needs of our members.
Furthermore, a consumers and users cooperative is based on people and their involvement on the organization, focusing on the members’ needs and democratic self-organization. The main goal is to provide goods and services for its members.
Our intention is to bring responses/solutions to Pyrenees rural areas challenges and needs, such as the difficulty to find affordable and decent housing, depopulation, land accessibility and the lack of artistic and cultural activities.
We want to break up with the capitalist model present in most of the Pyrenees rural areas, where often houses are for tourist purposes or vacation houses, increasing the rents’ market price for people who wants to settle in the region. Moreover, difficult land accessibility makes the countryside generational changeover even harder. From Copsant, we want to reverse this trend, standing up for a quality and affordable housing, as well as ensuring land accessibility for conscious and transformative projects. At the same time, we want to promote life rooted in the territory as well as social dynamization through the Community Meeting Space.
In short, our main goals are:
- Transform the individualistic lifestyle changing over to a community life model, bringing back this ancestral and resilient way of life.
- Ensure a quality and affordable housing.
- Promote land accessibility in order to develop agroecologic and transformative ecosocial projects.
- Offer a community meeting space where organize activities, workshops, talks, formations, spectacles, conferences, etc., promoting life rooted in the territory, communal living and cooperation.
Cossant House hay loft restoration will become the Alive Lands Bank´s head office, from where ecosocial and agroecological projects will be driven. At the same time, we are motivated to have a community space where different cultural, formative, artistic, pedagogic or entertainment activities will enrich bonds and collaboration between cooperative’s users. In the Pyrenees, different initiatives are walking towards this direction and we want to build a network between us increasing the mass committed with the countryside.
Community Meeting Space will be for everybody who feels curiosity and need to change the individualistic lifestyle. Priorities are group, community, tribe, diversity and will to create synergies, learning from each one, before genre, race or social group etiquettes. The project significance intends to be like the concentric waves of a stone thrown into the water. First circle, Copsant tribe and Ancs Valley neighbours. Second circle, everybody in Pallars region interested in the actual lifestyle transformation. Third circle, the network between other cooperative projects in Catalonia.
Cossant House hay loft restoration is outlined through cooperative working workshops. We believe this is a way to collectivize knowledge and strength bonds with people of the territory involved.
Behind Copsant there are Noemí, Jordi, Marc, Carlet, Ivet and Elna, who recently arrive to the world. Not long ago we have arrived to Cossant House in Balestui (Pyrenees), to run this initiative at the service of the territory and its people. We would like more people involved in Copsant cooperative in order to enhance the project. We already have a social basis walking together but would like to be much more!
It’s been several months working together to run this project. In fact, throughout years our lives have been crossing with each other, in the formative or working ambit as well as sharing friends. So, we could say the process goes back a long way and now has taken off. We have chosen the Pyrenees to settle sharing the passion for mountain and rural life, wilderness, places to develop individual and collective processes, connecting ourselves with essential needs and values.
We have diverse and complementary profiles, but all are curious and multi-skilled. From mountain guiding to scenic arts, going through environmental education, journalism, therapeutic background, sign language, forest management and writing. In that way, we learn from each other. Cossant house is rich in books, maps, instruments, paint brushes and people who put community life at the centrum.