enabling communities across Scotland to co-design and build beautiful, energy-efficient homes


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Making community-led housing easier, quicker and cheaper

CoHere offers a “one-stop shop” to support communities through every stage of the development, from concept, sourcing a site and finance, to design, management and final completion of the build.


We work with you as a group to design homes that meet your shared objectives, helping you secure planning permission and completing financial feasibilities.


We have relationships with social finance providers and can guide you through the process of securing development funding at each stage of the process.


We support you through the tendering process, project managing the build and helping to overcome any obstacles that may arise during construction.

Being a community-led housing pioneer is a lot easier when you’ve got someone sitting in the wagon who’s ridden the trail before

Benefits of working with CoHere

We reduce risk by working with the people who will own and rent the homes right from the start, guiding them and qualifying their plans

We increase efficiency by acting as a link between community groups and institutions such as Banks and local authorities, providing templates and guiding groups through the process

We provide access to capital by partnering with social investment funds, securing development loans and increasing certainty for both funders and community groups

We add legitimacy to community build projects, giving stakeholders confidence that the social and financial returns required will be delivered

We raise environmental standards by creating homes that are cheap to run, healthy to live in and have minimal carbon footprint

We accelerate the delivery of quality affordable housing for community benefit by bringing together all these elements efficiently and collaboratively.

What’s involved in Collective Custom Build?

This chart sets out the various stages of a collective custom build project, the work to be undertaken by both the self-build group and by CoHere, and (hopefully!) the results. (Click the image for a PDF version).

Case Study

Bath Street Collective Custom Build, Portobello, Edinburgh

“this could be the future of Scottish housebuilding”

  – Homes and Interiors Scotland magazine


CoHere founders John Kinsley and Pete Allen bring a diversity and wealth of experience in design, funding and development of social property projects.

John Kinsley

John Kinsley


John has over 20 years’ experience of leading teams on award winning and often highly complex buildings across a range of sectors. Prior to setting up his own architecture practice in 2016, John has been responsible for buildings which have won multiple awards, including the Stirling Prize and the Doolan Award (for the best building in the UK and the best building in Scotland respectively).  In 2018 John Kinsley Architects won the Scottish Design Awards “Practice of the Year” for the Bath St Collective Custom Build project which John initiated and led, and which also won an RIAS award, an Edinburgh Architectural Association Award and the Saltire Housing Innovation Award. John holds a Masters Degree with distinction in Bioclimatic Architectural design.

Pete Allen

Pete Allen


Pete is a passionate advocate of the use of property for social and environmental benefit, and has nearly 20 years’ experience of property investment, development and management. Pete spent 10 years at the Ethical Property Company, setting up and managing commercial properties for social change organisations, including “The Foundry” social justice and human rights centre which was awarded RIBA’s “London Building of the Year”. Pete moved to Melbourne in 2013 to found Ethical Property Australia and led the establishment of a $40 million property fund. He has a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and an MSc with distinction in Architecture: Advanced Environmental and Energy Studies.

Get in touch

If you’re interested in community-led self-build, we’d love to hear from you.


We are especially interested to hear from community groups, social investors, and landowners seeking to support this important activity.


John: 0790 802 7054

Pete: 0748 744 8686


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