Bristol Student Housing Co-op takes next steps after becoming a legal entity

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By Filiz Emily Gurer, News Editor

The Bristol Student Housing Co-operative’s successful registration as a legal entity was confirmed on 6 November.

This will now allow the housing co-op to be able to take the next steps in its journey to operating as a student housing co-operative for Bristol students.

The campaign for the co-operative was launched by students at the University of Bristol in August, who set up the initiative in order to provide ‘more beds in Bristol at affordable prices whilst empowering its members’.

A spokesperson for the housing co-op explained that the next steps would be to open up membership by launching membership applications and hold the Co-op’s first AGM.

The group will also now start to assess the possible properties available and their suitability, locations and costings, with the purpose of providing good quality not-for profit housing.

The housing co-op is being supported by Student Co-op homes, a national organisation which co-ordinates the efforts of student housing co-operatives in the UK.

BSHC has received a grant from Community Led Homes and will now bring in a co-op specialist to help draw up a business plan.

Having now formally registered, the co-op will be able to expand its membership, to involve a much larger group of students.

Bristol students take first steps in launching housing co-operative

The co-operative is holding a series of talks starting today to engage students in what housing co-operatives are and how they function.

Attendees of tonight’s event, which begins at 6pm, will be able to hear from people who run co-ops across the city, living in co-operative housing or working in co-operative workplaces, to learn more about what they are and how they work.

This will be followed by an event on 18 November, which will be a virtual tour of a housing co-op in Bristol, and Q & A session with the people that live in it.

Bristol Students’ Union is supporting BSHC and is helping with the marketing of these events.

Speaking for BSHC on the launch of the co-op, Bristol student Dylan Woodward told Epigram: ‘What we want do is to be able to demonstrate that students can run housing in Bristol that’s high quality for cheaper than private landlords do.

‘Once it’s set up, we’re imagining it will be mixed year groups living in it, or people potentially living in it for the whole three years of their degree if they want to.’

As well as the benefits for students of the co-operative system, the founders of BSHC also believe the co-op offers the chance for better student-community relations, saying ‘there are really positive stories from student co-ops about how they have much better relationships with their neighbours, so it’s potentially a way of sorting out the town and gown divide a little bit’.

Encouraging students to attend the online talks this month and to join the co-op, Dylan said: ‘In terms of the campaign now, anyone who wants to can get involved, it’s a really good thing to get involved with and it’s going to be a really long-lasting thing in the city’.

Featured Image: University of Bristol Students’ Union/Bristol Student Housing Co-operative


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