7.8. Other models available

Information about other models: small housing co-operatives, student housing co-operatives and market rented co-operatives.

See this page in: Cymraeg

1. Small housing co-operatives

An organisation called Radical Routes pioneered a financial model for affordable rental co-ops in existing buildings that did not rely on public funding. In this model, up to 85% of the necessary capital finance is raised through a combination of an institutional mortgage, a second loan from ethical banks and the remainder through loanstock.

For several years, this approach was effective in providing shared housing where co-op members live communally in rooms in the home, because less capital was required per tenant.

Whilst this approach could still work for large houses being sold at comparatively low prices, it has now become more challenging to ensure affordability as house prices have risen, and rents may have to be closer to market rents or more in order to make such a scheme viable.

2. Student housing co-operatives

Faced with very high housing costs, UK students have started to initiate student housing co-operatives. Set up in different ways – one a single shared house that has support from an agency, another a large property that enables it to employ staff – student housing co-ops need to ensure that they have support to be able to cope with turnover of membership.

Student housing co-operatives operate a support organisation called Students for Co-operation and have received financial support from the ethical business, the Phone Co-operative.

These are examples of CCLH schemes using a ‘Student Housing Co-operative’ model:

  1. Birmingham Student Housing Co-operative
  2. Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative

3. Market rented co-operatives

The CCH has proposed a model for market rented co-operatives. They may be an option for professional people in high value areas and for housing associations seeking to cross subsidise for homes for low income people.

The CCH envisages that a housing association could lease homes to a fully mutual co-operative for the market rent return envisaged by the association. The advantages of this approach for the association is that it would be possible to attract professional people to a co-operative who would want to make a comparatively long term commitment to the homes. The advantage for the co-operative members is that they would have good quality homes and they may be able to reduce the rent slightly through self-management.