Soaring student rents push college accommodation to brink of crisis

Aug 15, 2015 by

Half of Britain’s students are struggling to pay their rent as spiralling housing costs prompt warnings that the university accommodation system has reached breaking point. As the last-minute scramble for accommodation for the next academic year gets under way, the National Union of Students described the cost of housing as at an absolute crisis point.

“Students are facing a housing crisis with an ever-narrowing gap between their incomes and what they are expected to pay in rent,” said Shelly Asquith, the NUS vice-president of welfare. “There needs to be enforced rent controls to put an end to this.”

Between 2010 and 2013, rents rose 25%, according to the student housing charity Unipol. This compared with rises in the wider rental market over the same period of 13%, according to Homelet. The latest Unipol data, to be published in November, is expected to show further rises of around 7%.

A maintenance loan of up to £8,000 in London or £5,500 outside the capital is available to students for help with living costs, but the NUS is concerned that the sky-high costs of housing mean this is now being almost being completely eaten up by rent.

NUS figures for the academic year just gone show a typical £8,000 a year shortfall between student living costs and their income from loans and the maintenance grant.

Source: Soaring student rents push college accommodation to brink of crisis | Education | The Guardian

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