We set up S.E.A.S.A.L.T Housing Co-operative (South EAst Students Autonomously Living Together) in Spring 2018 as a group of Sussex students to create affordable, high quality, fit for purpose housing specifically to meet the needs of students. A housing co-operative is a property owned and managed by its residents, putting an end to unresponsive landlords, poor quality housing and spiralling rents.
While other housing co-operatives exist in Brighton & Hove there are none specifically for students. Student Housing Co-operatives have been popular in the United States since the Great Depression in the 1930’s as a way of empowering students to create affordable housing and manage their accommodation needs, rather than follow a tradition of lining the pockets of landlords.
The first student led housing co-operative was started in the UK in Birmingham in 2014, Edinburgh is the largest with 106 beds and now Sheffield have joined the movement. Following demand a National Body to support the development of student housing co-operatives has been set up through Students for Co-operation (http://www.students.coop), in partnership with Co-ops UK known as “Student Co-op Homes” https://www.uk.coop/students
Our vision is a student led initiative for affordable housing, democratic living and long term sustainability. A working group has been recruited and we have also received funding through Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust to pay for one day a week paid support. You can read more about the housing co-op and how to apply to the working group here: https://www.sussexstudent.com/volunteer/housing-coop/
Provide High Quality Student Housing
Provide Affordable rent
Create a vibrant community of knowledge and skill sharing
Maximise democratic control of the co-op
Educate our members, the wider student body and community about co-operatives
Work closely with co-operatives across Brighton & Hove
We will also emphasise the 7 co-operative principles:
Voluntary and open membership
Democratic member control
Member economic participation
Autonomy and independence
Education, training and information
Co-operation amongst co-operatives
Concern for Community
Through the Brighton & Hove Community Land Trust we have access to free training, events and expertise through their community led housing programme. We’re also visiting local housing co-operatives and planning a visit to Birmingham Student Housing Co-op. There is lots to do from business planning, finance to campaigning and awareness raising!
If you would like to get involved please get in touch!