NUS Scotland demands action on ‘broken student housing system’
NUS Scotland has warned of yet another year of student housing shortages, with a “broken housing system” driving up student homelessness.
Student activists in St Andrews have highlighted the difficulties students are having finding housing for the coming year and first-year students at the University of Glasgow have been told that there is no guarantee they’ll get accommodation.
NUS Scotland is also concerned about the shortage of affordable student accommodation in Edinburgh, particularly with the rise in short-term lets in the city.
Research published by the union earlier this year found that 12% of students had experienced homelessness since the beginning of their studies, with 2% homeless at the time of the survey (Nov-Dec 2021).
Ellie Gomersall, NUS Scotland president, said: “There are students across Scotland right now struggling to get accommodation for the year ahead, facing a choice between sofa-surfing or paying sky-high rents.
“Last week we saw another record number of students from the most deprived communities accepted to university but if we don’t get a grip on our broken student housing system, we’re just setting students up to fail.”
She added: “Even before the cost-of-living crisis, 12% of students had experienced homelessness – without action I cannot see how this will not increase in the coming year.
“We urgently need a student housing strategy, with rent controls and a student housing guarantee that ensures government, universities, and local authorities work together so every student has a safe, quality and affordable place to live.”