August 2012

Media release: CSHC welcomes Legislative Assembly recognition, support

23 August 2012

Canberra Co-op Welcomes Legislative Assembly Support for Affordable, Student-driven solution to Housing Crisis

The Canberra Student Housing Cooperative today welcomed the report of the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs (PDF), which recommended exploring the cooperative model as a solution to the student housing crisis.

The Committee’s report on Accommodation Needs for Tertiary Students in the ACT recommended “that the ACT Government explore developing student co-operative models, along the lines of the Sydney University model, with ANU or UC and report to the Legislative Assembly on this matter” (Recommendation 3).

“Affordable and appropriate accommodation remains out of reach for many students in the ACT, so this report is timely,” CSHC Director, Tom Stayner said.  “It’s great to see that our student-driven solution, which provides affordable, inclusive and sustainable accommodation, is getting the recognition it deserves.”

“Although the report identified the Sydney University model, it’s important to clarify that we already have a student co-op here in Canberra, which recently began housing 22 students in a truly affordable community environment at Havelock House in Turner,” Mr. Stayner added.

“We have based our model on the great examples of Stucco Cooperative in Sydney, and from the strong tradition of cooperatives in North America, where hundreds of student-run residences provide accommodation, community and professional development for their members. This year is United Nations International Year of Cooperatives, so it’s a great time to be spreading the word.”

The Committee noted, “the ACT is potentially an ideal place for an approach to alternative accommodation models for students… with increasing demand and difficulties in meeting that demand, there is a need for innovation and novel solutions to satisfy demand for affordable student housing.”  It added that existing ACT Cooperative legislation is able to accommodate housing cooperatives.

“The cooperative model is a cost-effective solution to the lack of adequate, secure and affordable accommodation, as identified in today’s report. It is now up to the Government to act on these recommendations – as we approach this year’s election, we look forward to continuing our work with both government and universities to expand the use of this model in the ACT,” Mr. Stayner said.


Contact: Tom Stayner 0409 605 875
Read the full report (PDF)

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Coop Update

EXCITING NEWS! CLICK HERE FOR the act government’s report into the Accommodation needs of tertiary education students in the ACT.

The Canberra Student Housing Cooperative is pleased to see that the third recommendation of this report is:

“that the ACT Government explore developing student co-operative models, along the lines of the Sydney University model, with ANU or UC and report to the Legislative Assembly on this matter. “

Well this should be easy, given that there is a functioning cooperative at Havelock House currently providing affordable, secure and sustainable communal to tertiary students – Us! The CSHC will be forming a response to this recommendation in the coming weeks.

Other News

We had another epic party:

Asides from having a good time, we were celebrating a new record in residents: twenty-two across four units!

Being bigger has led to some changes in our governance, changes that we are still working out. Essentially, the cooperative is now managed through four squads: Finance, Food, Planning and Events. We also have two smaller squads: Acquisitions and Environment. The squads meet throughout the week and work out proposals for the cooperative as a whole and then distribute these through dropbox for discussion at the Sunday meeting. This new model has drastically cut our Sunday meeting times from three hours to under one hour, and enabled us to get quite a bit done. Here’s a run-down on some of the exicting things we’ve planned/proposed:


Communal food will now be kept in a store room in one of the units, so that residents can easily replace detergent, toilet paper, flour, rice, etc. without having to travel to the shops.


We now have a fortnightly ‘Spotlight’ arts share event! – see this Facebook event for details!


We’re working out the rules of the house, and will put these up on the website for prospective partakers to peruse soon! We’re also nutting out an update to the constitution.

Most excitingly, the CSHC will be travelling to Victoria for a planning day/retreat to set a plan for the coming years.


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Notice of 2012 Annual General Meeting

In six weeks, the Canberra Student Housing Cooperative will be holding our Annual General Meeting for 2012!

Date: Sunday September 23, 2012
Time: 7pm (TBC)
Location: Canberra Student Housing Co-operative, Havelock House, Turner, ACT

Our Constitution (PDF) contains provisions for the AGM, and for nominations and elections of our board of 5 directors.  Particularly relevant are sections 15 (‘How directors are to be elected’), 22 (‘How general and special meetings are to be called’) and 26 (‘Annual General Meetings’). For more information, or to nominate as a director, please email us.

Duties of directors: Broadly speaking, the board of directors acts as a ‘steering group’ to make strategic, procedural and other decisions on behalf of the Cooperative. The duties of a director, therefore, are varied, and include meeting weekly with fellow directors, working with members of the cooperative and external contacts and groups, and other activities as necessary.  In other words, the directors take a top-level, strategic view of the coop’s affairs, and pursue opportunities accordingly.  In the past, precise roles have been shaped depending on directors’ strengths – eg. if individuals have legal, financial or other skills, they have taken on these responsibilities.  A person is not qualified to be a director unless he or she is a primary member of the cooperative.

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