A CAMPAIGN group determined to tackle high rents has bought its first property for a student housing co-operative.

More than 140 individuals, organisations and businesses invested in a share offer through Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust to reach well over the trust’s target of £260,000.

The trust has now purchased a seven-bedrrom property in Bevendean, which it will lease to the South East Students Autonomously Living Together (Seasalt) student housing co-operative for seven years.

Seasalt was formed by students at the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton in 2018 with the aim of providing affordable student housing.

Members of the co-op will allow its members to stay in the property for the duration of their studies plus a year after graduation.

A spokesman for Seasalt said this stops students taking up family housing and stops students from taking short-term tenancies that students that communities can find disruptive.

He added: “The mass sell-off of public land and unequal land ownership have given rise to a financialised housing market with accommodation and rent prices spiralling faster than inflation.

“For students, these issues are only enhanced as landlords and letting agents look to exploit our inexperience and precarious, insecure situations, frequently to make maximum profit for minimum effort.

“This means that student accommodation often exemplifies the worst aspects of housing in this country.

“By empowering our students to take control of their accommodation, we have taken the first steps towards building a fairer and more equal future across Brighton and Hove, putting the needs of our local community first.”

The responsibility for the maintenance and plans for the property will be shared between Seasalt and the Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust and both groups say they are “committed” making the home environmentally friendly.

Jane Crome, director of Brighton and Hove Community Land Trust, said: “We have really enjoyed working with these inspiring students, who have given so much passion and time to the project, even though some of them may not live in the house themselves.

“We look forward to a long and fruitful and enjoyable partnership with them and watching them thrive.”

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