Democratic Housing in Edinburgh

“We were fed up with extortionate rent, exploitative landlords, dodgy letting agencies, and substandard housing. We wanted to increase the amount of affordable housing for students and create a sustainable, non-exploitative, community-led housing co-operative as an alternative to the private rental market.”

Edinburgh student housing cooperative is an inspiring initiative. The video here is a selection of short interviews with residents on life in the coop. Below is an extract from their website. May their success be an example to others and inspire a movement for students to take control of their housing needs.

The Idea

With 106 members, Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative Ltd (ESHC) is the largest student housing co-operative in the UK. We work closely  Birmingham Student Housing  Co-operative, currently the only other student housing co-op in the UK, which also opened in summer 2014.

It is a massive achievement and one that has taken more than a year of work in preparation. We have been incredibly lucky to turn Wright’s Houses into our new home. Although new to the UK, the student housing co-operative model is a popular one in North America and in countries around the world. It creates an opportunity for students to take control over their living, learn new skills, and live in an open and vibrant community.

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1 Comment Democratic Housing in Edinburgh

  1. Øyvind HolmstadØyvind Holmstad

    “This is, of course, a rampant nod to commercialism, which, if we did not live in such a commercial era, would be seen for what it is. The life of a community cannot be held hostage, by a person or corporation who seeks to make money and profit from the construction of its streets and buildings. The streets and buildings are part of the neighborhood’s life blood, the city’s life blood, and they must be interwoven with the activities and life of the people themselves. Anything less leads inevitably to drug abuse, crime, teenage violence, anomie, and despair – the very earmarks of modern urbanism.” – Christopher Alexander

    It’s really encouraging to see these young people doing something with their situation, rather than surrender to drug abuse, crime, teenage violence, anomie, and despair.

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