SEASALT (South EAst Students Autonomously Living Together) was founded in spring 2018 to create affordable, high quality housing for students run by students.
A core working group was formed made up of students from both the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. Members come from a variety of different courses including International Development, Law, Neuroscience and Cyber Security.
A housing co-operative is a property run and managed by its members. Housing co-operatives have been operating across the globe since the 19th century for the purpose of creating affordable, high quality housing that provides its members with the autonomy to make decisions in the interest of the co-operative. There is no landlord, which means that housing co-operatives require self-governance when managing costs and making decisions regarding the obligations of its members.
As the property is owned and managed by its members, everyone has a vested interest and stake in how it’s run. The co-operative model flexibly adapts to both individual and collective autonomy. Alongside this, it provides members with a transformative experience through skill-sharing, policy-making and community engagement. Each co-operative operates according to the 7 co-operative principles. All housing co-operatives follow these, but also have the autonomy to create their own vision and values. The co-operative organisational model is incredibly successful, marked by it longevity and sustainability.
Yes, student housing co-operatives have been popular in North America since the Great Depression in the 1930’s. The first student housing co-operative in the UK was established in Birmingham in 2014. SEASALT will be the first student housing co-operative in the South-East.
- Communication: photography, video-making, social media, blogging and website management.
- Finance: budgeting, preparing financial reports, financial modelling and training, bookkeeping (using online software).
- Campaigning: from awareness raising activities to door knocking. We need people who are enthusiastic and positive to help us spread the word and listen to people’s ideas and comments.
- Research & policy-making: SEASALT will be a student-led housing co-op for generations to come. To make it work we need robust policies that ensure we offer an inclusive and democratically run co-op. Right now, we are in the process of researching and contacting social investors.
The property is purchased in the same way as a house (20% is required for a deposit, 80% is borrowed as a mortgage). BHCLT are planning to raise money for the deposit through a mixture of Loanstock, grants and funding.
Yes, graduates can live in SEASALT for up to one year after graduation. This is essential for the transference of skills to the next co-operative group.