Opening its doors in August 2014, Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative is the UK’s second and largest student housing co-operative – with 106 members living in 24 flats. With rent set at £305 per month, including all bills, the co-operative is arguably the city’s most affordable student housing provider.
The property is entirely self-managed by the co-operative’s members – which is quite a task!
The co-op organises itself using a participatory, democratic structure of regular working groups and general meetings. By doing as much of the work itself, members can achieve cheaper rent and build a stronger co-operative ethos.
The co-operative was able to find a home after Edinburgh City Council arranged a meeting with Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, who were keen on the project and agreed to lease one of their properties to the co-operative for five years. Were they to secure the funding, the terms of the lease allows the co-op to purchase the property outright.