Accommodation / Housing

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1. UoNSU & NSHC: Co-operative Collaboration.

10th May 2018 (434th Union Council)
Protected until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: Community

What is the Policy?

University of Nottingham Students’ Union (UoNSU) recognises the initiative led by students and graduates to establish Nottingham Student Housing Cooperative (NSHC).

The Union formally publicly states its support for Nottingham Student Housing Cooperative and the Student Housing Cooperative movement.

The Union does recognise moves by other Students Unions to facilitate establishment of new Student Housing Cooperatives in partnership with Students For Cooperation and Student Co-operative Homes.

The Union wishes to have a constructive relationship with NSHC and shall support its work, where possible, as a general principle.

The Union recognises its potential to help grow demand for cooperative housing around the campuses and sites of the University of Nottingham.

The Union recognises it has a role in helping facilitate a relationship between the University and NSHC.

The Union will provide the following in the development of a bespoke relationship between the two organisations.

  • Facilitate NSHC access to commercial promotional spaces in Students’ Unions buildings/spaces where possible. (i.e. Portland Building, the Barn, QMC site and the Derby Medical Site.)
  • Facilitate access to student fairs such as Freshers Fairs and any other fairs - for example: any prospective future housing fairs.
  • Investigate models of cooperation between UoNSU and NSHC on communications strategies and dissemination of information about the cooperative and the cooperative model.
  • Explore the feasibility of NSHC obtaining access to benefits similar to ‘Gold’ STARS groups and potential models to implement this.

The Union shall also where necessary facilitate meetings between NSHC and the University to discuss any possibilities for collaboration.

Why?

The Union recognises the last time a proposal to support the housing cooperative came forward it went to a referendum and the result came in outside of an officer election period with a vote of close to 2300 Yes, 300 Abstentions and 81 No. This was not quorate under the rules of the time. It would now be considered quorate under current referendum rules.

All but one of the existing student housing cooperatives have secured formal backing from their students unions at various times. Nottingham Student Housing Cooperative believes in building a positive relationship based on dialogue and collaboration between ourselves and UoNSU.

University of Nottingham Students’ Union recognises it has a longer term responsiblity to help address housing issues in Nottingham affecting students including the general state of repair of houses in the market, green credentials, rent levels and the relationships between students and non-students which also reflect the primary aims of the Housing Cooperative.

Work being undertaken by the Housing Cooperative, with Coops UK and Students for Cooperation, to establish a nationwide body of student housing cooperatives (Student Co-operative Homes) has the potential to bring online a number of bedrooms ready for the 18/19 academic year and growth beyond.

Edinburgh Student Housing Cooperative has been successful despite the reservations of the University, leading the University to change their approach towards the housing cooperative model, recently guaranteeing a 100% loan through a bank for the cooperative to buy a new multi million pound building.