First Student Co-op Housing Opens In Brighton To Combat High Rent Prices

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Brighton has become the first city in the south-east of England to open and accept students into co-op housing.

Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust purchased the property, which is now occupied on a seven-year lease by SEASALT housing co-op.

Student co-op housing is a new movement that has been established to create an alternate offering to the current private rental market where students are subjected to often poor living conditions at much higher rates than traditional rental agreements.

This model of living offers lower rental prices and better quality accommodation as they are designed to allow their tenants to pool together resources to create homes which let every tenant collaborate for mutual benefit to create the best home possible.

Under the agreement, rent payments are not funding profits but instead purely covering leases, bills, repairs and other necessary expenses without landlord gains.

The project is especially important in a city such as Brighton where figures show it is one of the most expensive places to live in the country, pricing out both local residents and students as more people leave the bigger cities in search of better lives in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

Education has also been suffering, with lecturer Rebecca Searle of Brighton University stating that such high costs cause inequalities in education due to the fact that students who have to work to pay bills end up missing vital study time, due to having to work longer hours to afford the more expensive outlays.

Under the new building policy, both the community land trust and SEASALT will share maintenance and planning, with commitments to prioritise energy efficiency and environmental sustainability within the properties used.

This responsibility is also placed on the tenants to be good neighbours, with relationship building important to create the community feel and allow them to escape short tenancies by allowing accepted members to stay for the duration of their studies plus one full year post graduation.

 

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Photo Credit: Andrew Neel

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