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SEASALT: SEASALT or South East Students Autonomously Living Together is a student housing co-operative based in Brighton, UK. Established in 2018, SEASALT aims to provide affordable, democratic and sustainable housing to students. SEASALT is also involved on campaigns for housing justice amongst other things.
Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust (BHCLT): “We are a grassroots movement enabling, and campaigning for, community led development in Brighton & Hove, led by our large and diverse membership of local people and accountable to them and the wider community.” In short, a local land trust campaigning for sustainable, fair land use in Brighton and Hove – led by local people. We have a partnership with BHCLT where they have helped us purchase our first house which we will lease from them on a long term basis.
Landlord: A landlord is the owner of a house, apartment or land etc which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called a tenant.
Tenant: A person who holds, occupies, or possesses land or property either via a lease or by paying rent.
Tenancy agreement: A tenancy agreement is a contract between a tenant (i.e you) and a landlord. Usually, a tenancy agreement requires that you to at least pay rent at regular intervals but the other terms in the contract can vary a lot. At SEASALT, we have aimed to make our tenancy agreement fair and flexible.
Rent: A payment made, usually on a fixed regulars basis by a tenant, for use or occuonacy of a property/building.
Lease: A contractual arrangement that requires for the lessee (user) to pay the lessor (owner) for use of an asset. Property, buildings and vehicles are common assets that are ‘leased’. In our case, we have a long-term lease with Brighton and Hove community land trust (BHCLT) for our house.
Co-operative (co-op): “Co-operatives be it housing or business, are not for profit and democratic organisatons run for and by their members” – Community Led Homes
Housing co-operative: A housing co-operative is a model of housing whereby tenants, who make up the members of the co-operative, have control over the property they call home. Through the co-operative’s ownership of the property, members are directly responsible for running it. See: ‘What is a housing co-op?’
Affordable housing: Housing that a household can pay for, while still having money left over for other necessities like food, transportation, and health care. In the UK, affordable housing is classed as any that is rented/sold at 80% or less of the local market rate/value.
Housing Crisis: The housing crisis refers to the dire housing market situation in the UK and can be used to describe other countries around the world. the main drivers of the housing crisis are 1) a lack of affordable housing stock 2) House prices and rents rising faster then incomes 3) Unsustainable and unequal landownership and use with large amounts of public land being sold off.
Retrofitting: The addition of new technology or features to older systems i.e the process of renovating and updating. In our case, this applies to upgrading our house by installing new energy efficient windows, insulation and appliances. Also accessibility improvements such as step free access and more.
Share offer: An investment where people can buy shares in a company, co-op or project in return for an expected yearly interest. A share offer is usually run by co-ops to raise capitol for their projects. Investors can buy into a sustainable, ethical proposal. Similar to crowd funding but the funders get a return and thus then project can work for the people that bought the shares as well as getting them involved in the project.
The Co-operative Economy: The economy and economic theory that encompasses co-ops and their model of democracy, affordability and sustainability. Whilst this primarily focuses on co-ops as a model, the co-op economy also encompasses other aspects of progressive economics such as the zero waste ‘circular economy’ reaching net zero carbon emissions via a ‘Green New Deal’, community ownership of key public services and more power to invest in local communities putting people and planet before profit. The Co-op economy could form a subset of the wellbeing economy championed by activist Laura Sharples from Brighton.
Circular Economy: An economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Sustainability and longevity of resources are paramount. Different to a traditional linear economy that is based on growth and a ‘take, make, waste’ approach (sustainability and waste come second to what is usually financial growth).
Green New Deal: The Green New Deal aims to put the environment and climate change at the heart of the economy. Create well paid jobs in new green industries, transitioning our energy system, building new infrastructure and investing in our economic system.
Community wealth building: Community Wealth Building is an approach, developed initially by the Democracy Collaborative in the United States, which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.