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Homes for our futures

We have 50p per week left after our rent. Inflated property value harms everyone other than the lenders. And it is the single biggest factor in the cost-of-living crisis.

Make it simple for every student to access high-quality housing

  • Remove the need for rental guarantors. For more detail about this, read our policy briefing on regulating rental guarantors here.
  • Commit to affordable bed spaces and control rents
  • Give students and renters a parity of protections

Build more green, affordable and social housing for everyone – including students

  • Regulate the revenue of private student landlord companies and tax second homes: reinvest this in mass building of green, affordable student and social housing
  • Regulate and retrofit: bring in strong minimum standards on insulation

Current present & future

Our society has fundamentally failed when millions of us are struggling to find secure, affordable housing.

  • The average student has 50p to live off per week after rent
  • Student accommodation prices have increased by 61% since 2012
  • 2 in 5 students have considered dropping out due to the cost of rent and bills
  • England’s 25m homes emit 58.5m tonnes of CO2 each year

The most common type of accommodation for young adults is now living with our parents. We can’t afford to move out, or have to fight over the few affordable, quality places in each area. There are also those of us for whom living at home has never been an option, when we’ve come through the care system, or become estranged from our parents. If we don’t know a guarantor who owns a house in the UK, we’re stuck paying extra to a private company, paying six months rent up front, or not being able to rent at all.

Going to university and college used to mark the start of living independently for most students: now, our futures are on hold as we’re stuck in our childhood bedrooms, wondering if we can afford to move out, and wishing we had different experiences. There is simply not enough affordable accommodation.

Housing affects every aspect of our education and our choices. If we don’t take action, this will continue to impact our health, limit our choices of where to study, access to education and slowly crash local economies as we spend all of our loans getting to nearby campuses, not socialising and living independently.

Alternative present & future

We could all have a good standard of living in quality, green, affordable housing.

We don’t want to live separately from the rest of the population in segments of student towns. We’re either choosing to study and build lives somewhere new, or we’re already residents, training and upskilling locally. We are part of the towns and cities that we study in.

Improving housing in the UK will have a knock-on impact on every aspect of life from education to work to raising children and caring for grandparents – and on contributing to local economies.

If universities, colleges, national and local government work together on local planning that maximises the quality of life for every single resident, we can make this happen.

If a new government regulates housing quality, insulation, rent levels and invests in building new, green, affordable and social housing, which everyone can live in, we can end the housing crisis once and for all.

Policy Ideas

Make it simple for every student to access high-quality housing

  • Abolish the need for guarantors on rental properties, and for equivalent upfront security payments.
  • Commit to 35% of bed spaces at an affordable level across all student halls, including ensuring a diversity of rental options are available in every student town.
  • Reduce rents through rent controls and regulation on revenues for private student
    housing companies.
  • Ensure student renters and non-student renters have a parity of legal protections.

Build more green, affordable and social housing for everyone – including students

  • Regulate the revenues of massive, private student landlord companies, and tax and reinvest them in building affordable student housing.
  • Regulate and retrofit: bring in strong minimum standards for home insulation in new builds, and fund retrofitting for existing housing.
  • Tax second and empty homes at a premium, and fund mass building of affordable housing for students and communities, including housing cooperatives and social housing.

What Students Think

  • 94% of students think there should be a cap or controls on rent – with 74% listing this as a main priority.
  • 87% of students said more affordable accommodation should be built.
  • 93% of students agree there should be more investment in greener public transport and housing, with 71% listing this as a main priority