With 106 members, Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative is the UK’s largest student housing co-operative. ESHC was founded in 2013 and opened its doors on Wright’s Houses in Bruntsfield in August 2014.
The co-operative is split into 24 flats (3, 4, and 5 beds) across two neighbouring buildings (though there’s a pub down the middle) overlooking a public golf course. A large concrete car park in the lower ground floor of the larger building (34) was converted by its members into a communal events space.
The co-operative is largely governed by general meetings and a series of working groups. All members are expected to contribute to the community and to help with the day-to-day responsibilities of managing residential property. Every member is allocated a role such as the Keeper of the Keys, Rent Managers, Budgeteers, the Gardeners, and the Regular Event Coordinators (aka party organisers).
All bills are included in the rent, as well as some communal items such as cleaning products and bog roll. Costs are kept down through self-management, collective purchasing, and undertaking basic maintenance works. Demand is high and rooms are very rarely empty.
The co-operative has members from all four universities in the city, as well as some college students.
The co-operative leases the properties from a local housing association, and aim to purchase the buildings. ESHC is responsible for most day-to-day maintenance issues.
ESHC is actively involved in both Students for Cooperation and Student Co-op Homes, the latter of which was co-founded by ESHC. More info is available on their website.
Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative28 & 34 Wright’s HousesEdinburghEH10 4HR