How do student housing co-operatives operate within such a transient community?
Student Co-op Homes (SCH) understands that it is challenging for individual student housing co-operatives with no financial track record and a continual turnover of student members to secure properties. However, by offering ongoing support and technical expertise to student groups, we can bridge that gap. We know this model works. In North America, students have been living successfully in student housing co-operatives since the 1930s. Although, the UK sector is much newer, with the first one set up in 2014. There are now five student housing co-operatives in the UK with properties that house over 130 student members.
Once a property is secured, students can live in the housing co-operative for the duration of their studies, plus a year after graduation. By offering long-term tenancies minimizes the usual transitory nature of the student community. It also enables mixed year groups to live together, learn and share skills. Studies have shown that increasing numbers of students want to invest in a sustainable and more equitable future. While founding members are likely to have graduated by the time a property is secured, we know from experience that the motivation for students to get involved is about more than just solving immediate housing needs. A housing co-operative is about creating a legacy for future generations and empowering students to devise solutions.
What lessons have been learnt from NASCO? (North American Student Co-operatives)
Check out SEASALT Housing Co-operative’s blog below:
Who are the owners?
Through direct ownership or third-party leases, Student Co-op Homes plan to expand its property portfolio. By creating more student housing co-operatives, we aim to strengthen and grow the movement.
On a practical level, students in a housing co-operative manage the day to day running of the property. With a maintenance budget, and training they can choose to learn skills as needed or call tradespeople directly. An ownership model that is proven to deliver. Housing co-operatives enable a group of students to come together to manage their own housing. This enables the students living in them to pool their resources to create homes where everyone collaborates for mutual benefit.
Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative – members transformed the basement carport into a community event and training space