Supporting Co-operativism

Co-operative Housing Ireland staff – Pat Moyne, Director of Operations and Helena Clarke, Policy and Communications Manager – recently attended a seminar about the Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative in the Centre for Co-operative Studies in University College Cork.

Mike Shaw, a founding member of Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative, provided the seminar. He explained that he, and a couple of other students, got together to create the co-operative as rents were spiraling out of control and this was having an impact on the well-being of students.

The 106 students in the Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative pay £75 per week for their rent compared to average student rents of £112 per week. Not only is the rent cheaper, but the money the students pay goes towards the upkeep of the house. The students manage the building and all the repairs themselves, and as regards decision making use a participatory, consensus-based model, by general meeting.

Mike is still a student and lives in the Edinburgh Housing Co-operative, however he has high hopes for the future of student co-operatives and plans to continue the fight for the provision of better student accommodation.

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