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Student Co-op Homes

What they do

SCH are a national co-operative established to promote, enable and scale-up the student housing co-op movement in the UK. Its main function is to acquire property to lease to their member co-ops. It supports new and established student housing co-ops with training and advice on how to set up and manage their co-op.

About Student Co-op Homes

Existing student housing co-ops across the UK have come together to form Student Co-op Homes, with the support of The Phone Co-op Foundation for Co-operative Innovation and Co-operatives UK.

Experience from other countries, such as the US and Canada, shows that creating a national organisation to support student groups and to facilitate property acquisition was the game-changer that catalysed the growth of a thriving student housing co-op movement.

SCH enables student housing co-ops across the UK to combine their assets and resources into a central organisation, allowing them to raise finance for new projects, to share risk, to build strong and long lasting partnerships, and to self-finance growth in the long run. As SCH acquires more properties and grows its asset base, it will become easier to raise finance to expand.

Others have rallied to support the launch of Student Co-op Homes. The Midcounties Co-operative Society and East of England Co-operative Society have recently committed to contribute to the running costs of Student Co-operative Homes with £6,000 each per year for three years. Scotmid Co-operative has also agreed a loan to SCH towards the purchase of a property for the Glasgow Student Housing Co-operative Student Housing Co-operative. After the initial phase of setting up the organisation and gathering early supporters, SCH are now seeking capital to start acquiring properties

SCH has three student groups ready to take on properties—in Nottingham, Glasgow and Brighton—as well as groups in development in Leeds, Manchester, Stirling, Guildford, Belfast and Bristol, and expressions of interests in several other cities. Today, cash-rich landlords and offshore investment funds are able to move quickly to secure any new properties that come on the market in areas where students live. To overcome this difficulty, SCH have a plan and need your help!

What is a Housing Co-op

Housing co-operatives are organisations that allow people to come together to meet their common housing needs. The housing co-operative manages the building. Housing co-ops are based on mutual benefit for the residents, rather than profit for an absent owner.

This set-up works well in situations where a variety of people share a home, which is how students are typically housed in the UK.

How do Student Housing Co-ops form?

Students interested in forming student housing co-ops use their networks to find like-minded fellow students who also want fairer housing for themselves and/or future students. The students then agree the basic rules governing membership, and look for houses to lease (buying them isn’t really possible because most mortgage lenders are looking for people in employment who plan to live there long term).

The student housing co-operatives that are currently managing properties have only been able to do so with the help of established organisations which have bought (or already owned) the property, and agreed to lease it to the student housing co-op.

SCH will bridge the gap between a successfully formed group and access to property. In doing so, Student Co-operative Homes will provide the framework to accelerate the establishment to inspire more students to establish ever greater numbers of student housing co-operatives across the UK.

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