Bristol students hit start-up funding target for housing co-op

Having raised the cash to legally register the co-op the team will look for funding options and properties

The UK’s growing student housing co-op movement is looking to establish itself in Bristol.

The crowdfunding campaign by the Bristol Student Housing Co-op passed its £450 target, which will go towards the administrative fees of getting the co-op up and running as a registered legal entity.

They will now explore funding options and look for properties so they can provide “democratic, not-for-profit housing” for students in the city.

Housing co-operatives are owned and run by the people that live in them, with tenants setting their own rents, organising maintenance and taking responsibility for their home.

There are currently three student housing co-ops operating in the UK – in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Sheffield – and progress is being made setting others up in Glasgow, Nottingham and Brighton.

Last year umbrella body Student Co-op Homes ran a fundraising campaign to help its efforts to grow the movement across the UK. It wants to increase the number of beds offered in student housing co-ops from 120 to 10,000.

The Bristol group says on its crowdfunding page: “Student housing in Bristol is insecure, low quality and expensive, with students facing absentee landlords, properties in disrepair and most students’ maintenance loans not even stretching to cover their rent.

Related: Meet … Gauthier Guerin, project manager at Student Co-operative Homes

“Student co-ops exist across the UK. They provide students with higher quality housing for cheaper rents and encourage more integrated communities by giving students a stake in their local area.

“Our aim is to secure a mid-sized property in Bristol to run along co-operative principles; to prove that there is demand for this kind of housing in our city and to show that there are real and workable alternatives to the current hyper-exploitative rental market.”

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