Kazán Community House // community office
Kazán Community House started as a pioneering community-led property development before ACRED was established. After the crisis of 2008, it became one of the first collectively owned, grassroots community spaces in the country, a true community property for its users and particularly neighbourhood residents. The project took over a nearly 1000 square-metre property at 46-48 Orczy Street, on the edge of the former Ganz factory site. The Gólya Cooperative purchased the building in 2018 and renovated it with substantial community involvement and support. Kazán currently houses the Gólya Cooperative (i.e. Gólya Presso, Gólya Builders and Gólya Courier Service) and ten social organizations and businesses. These are: Lahmacun Community Online Radio, the Community Workshop (KözMű) for textiles and ceramics, the editorial office of Mérce, Stork's Nest Day Care, Solidarity Economy Center, Public Sociology Group Helyzet, Periféria Center, the Community Energy Provider, the office of the educational organization Deviszont, a gym used by two boxing clubs and a yoga group, and our organization, the Alliance for Collaborative Real Estate Development.
Kazán Community House is now (starting in 2022) under the joint management of ACRED and Gólya. Together, we maintain a democratically-operated community space and aim to build relations and strengthen synergies among the organizations working in the building. Each member organization assumes financial and management responsibilities in accordance with its capacity and level of engagement. Building management is thus collaborative, and ACRED’s function within it is basically twofold. It has an operational and facilitating role at the local level, coordinating overall administration and the community activities of member/tenant organizations. On a wider scale, through ACRED the Kazán tenants are also part of an alliance that works to keep the property off the market and stabilizes its function as a community house. We also intend to link properties with similar operating structures into a network that strengthens the infrastructure of the Hungarian solidarity economy and makes accumulated expertise available to other communities.
Zugló Collective House // community-led residential building
The Zugló Community House became the first residential building in post-1989 Hungary to implement the principles of rental-based cooperative housing. The property is collectively owned and operated by the Zugló Collective House Association (ZKHE), one of the founding members of ACRED. The building has a living space of 220 square metres and is occupied by seven people, with monthly contributions set at roughly 60% of market rents. The building was taken over by the community in the summer of 2018 and, after a short renovation, the founders moved in in January 2019.
The building had previously contained three separate apartments, and the collective transformed it to serve the needs of community living through a renovation project designed by a member of the Co-Housing Budapest Association and carried out by Gólya Builders and dozens of volunteers. The real estate development was coordinated by ZKHE members, who formed the idea of ACRED as a way of making use of their experience.
The finance for purchasing and renovating the building came partly from founding members’ savings (55%). The remainder was covered by direct loans (or “friendly investments”). The experience gained during the first years of the project has confirmed that community-led housing, and specifically rental housing cooperatives, could play an important future role in Hungary’s non-profit rental housing sector.