During the pandemic numerous independent student-led rent strikes sprang up across the UK in protest against rip-off landlords and excessive housing costs for students. The idea of paying over-the-top prices for accommodation that they couldn’t use during extended lock-downs was the final straw. But what next? A few students are taking matters in to their own hands and setting up housing co-op’s. They set their own rents and make their own decisions about who they’ll live with and what they’ll do to the house.
Managing your own housing co-op with a group is empowering. A power that can be carried through life. In my blog ten days to save Tir Cyffredin Housing Co-op I talked about the powerful difference living in a housing co-op made to my life. I lived in them in my mid-twenties, early thirties and mid-forties. And each time they came at the right moment for me. Pushing me on for the next stage in life.
So what’s not to like? The extra work-load is not for everyone, and setting housing co-ops from scratch can take months of admin, fundraising, member finding and learning on a very steep curve. Not necessarily what you can do when you’re just starting University, learning how to live away from home and just living. That’s why some groups are working with larger community organisations with paid staff who can do some of the heavy lifting and community engagement to get projects off-the ground and provide financing.
The community organisation can own the house or houses and lease it/them to the housing co-op. This leverages community support whilst giving students the autonomy they need to make their own decisions. Housing co-ops rarely fail but if one did for any reason the community organisation would own the house and be able to offer it to another housing co-op or in the worse case scenario sell it and give the community investors their money back.
This is the model used by Student Co-op Homes in England and most recently delivered by SEASALT Housing Co-op in Brighton, a city with a notorious shortage of affordable rentals. There’s no doubt this is a long-term project but student housing co-op’s are very common in countries like Canada so we know that it can work, given the right attention. That’s why we have invited Simin Wadiwala from SEASALT and Student Co-op Homes and Andy Woodcock from Catalyst Collective to share their knowledge at our Co-op’s Night event on October 20.
This event has the potential to kick start something completely new so please share the info if you know or are a student. It’s organised as part of the Wales Co-operative’s Community Led Housing Festival (Oct 18-21). Let people know. If you want to advocate for student housing co-op’s then come along too. We need allies to move this forward. Diolch yn fawr!
At the September network we’ll be talking about second/holiday homes and how local people taking greater control of their housing stock will lead to more active, cohesive and resilient communities.
We’ll be joined by successful community-led housing projects that have come together to tackle these issues, including Cornwall CLT and Appledore CLT. We strongly believe that the community-led housing models have significant potential to contribute to delivering more affordable homes in the right places, for the local community.
Yn ein rhwydwaith mis Medi byddwn yn siarad am ail gartrefi / cartrefi gwyliau a sut, trwy bobl leol gymryd mwy o reolaeth ar eu stoc dai, gall arwain at gymunedau mwy egnïol, cydlynol a gwydn.
Bydd prosiectau llwyddiannus tai dan arweiniad y gymuned yn ymuno â ni sydd wedi dod ynghyd i fynd i’r afael â’r materion hyn, gan gynnwys YTC Cernyw ac YTC Appledore. Credwn yn gryf fod gan y modelau tai dan arweiniad y gymuned botensial sylweddol i gyfrannu at ddatblygu fwy o dai fforddiadwy yn y llefyd gywir ar gyfer y gymuned leol.
Very excited to say that we have six great speakers and forty participants already booked on for our first ever woodland and community housing event. With over fifty people in the same zoom room ready to share their experience of community woodlands and housing we’re sure for some lively listening, talking and thinking. Can’t wait to share the space with you all! As with all our events it’s completely free. You just need to book via Eventbrite here and wait for the zoom link to come through. Speakers from Wood Knowledge Wales, Llais Y Goedwig, Undergrowth Housing Co-op, The Willow Bank and Ty Pren. See you there!
Every month at the Wales Co-operative Centre we bring people together to talk about community led housing. It’s a chance to chat to others about your project, find out what everyone else is doing, offer mutual support and hear interesting speakers. This week we have a guest speaker talking about One Planet Development and another about the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. Both are unique to Wales.
Join the Communities Creating Homes team for their first-ever all Wales virtual network to discuss all things community-led housing.
At the session we’ll be reflecting on the current community-led housing movement in Wales as well as looking at what the future holds, post Covid-19. There’ll be a chance to discuss and share learning with other projects and like minded people in your area.
You should attend this event if:
You want to know more about community-led housing and the Communities Creating Homes programme
You have a project idea but aren’t sure how to make it happen / are looking for other like minded people to make a project happen
Are an existing / developing project looking to connect with other projects
You are in a position to facilitate more community-led housing e.g. local authority, planner, developer, housing association, town councillor, landowner, investor/funder.
The session will be in English. You will receive the joining instructions by email prior to the event, please check your spam/junk.
Ymunwch a’r tîm Cymunedau’n Creu Cartrefi ar gyfer eu rhwydwaith digidol Cymru gyntaf i drafod popeth am dai dan arweiniad y gymuned.
Yn ystod y sesiwn byddwn yn myfyrio ar y symudiad tai dan arweiniad y gymuned yng Nghymru a thrafod beth mae’r dyfodol yn edrych fel ar ôl y bandemig Covid-19. Bydd siawns i drafod a rhannu dysgu gyda phrosiectau a phobl yn eich ardal.
Dylwch ymuno a’r digwyddiad os:
Rydych eisiau gwybod mwy am dai dan arweiniad y gymuned a’r rhaglen Cymunedau’n Creu Cartrefi
Oes gyda chi syniad ar gyfer prosiect ond ddim yn siŵr am y camau nesaf dylwch gymryd / yn edrych am bobl arall i ymuno a’ch prosiect
Yn brosiect / grŵp sydd yn bodoli’r eisoes / datblygu ac edrych i gysylltu gydag eraill
Rydych mewn safle i hwyluso mwy o dai dan arweiniad y gymuned e.e.. awdurdod lleol, cynlluniwr, datblygwr, tai cymdeithasol, cynghorydd, tirfeddiannwr, buddsoddwr.
Bydd y sesiwn yn Saesneg. Byddwch yn derbyn y cyfarwyddiadau ymuno trwy e-bost cyn y digwyddiad, gwiriwch eich sbam / jync.