In recent years, the housing crisis has reached unprecedented levels, and students are among those who are bearing the brunt of its consequences. Skyrocketing rents, poor living conditions, and a lack of affordable housing options have left many students struggling to find safe and comfortable accommodations in many of our major University Towns and Cities including Bristol, London, Manchester, Sheffield and York amongst many others.
The Green Party believes that Affordable, secure and comfortable accommodation is a basic human right. Those without accommodation and those forced through lack of choice into inadequate or unaffordable housing may lead diminished lives and can be excluded from playing their full part in society.
Exploitation by landlords is one of the most important problems that students deal with. By raising rates without rationale and disregarding property maintenance, many landlords take advantage of the increased demand for student accommodation. As a result, a large number of students are forced to live in unsatisfactory circumstances that not only make them uncomfortable but also have an adverse effect on their health and general wellbeing. Alarming numbers were discovered by National Union of Students (NUS) research. Surprisingly, 51% of students report having problems with dampness or mold in their rented housing. In addition, 49% of students said their homes were inadequately insulated, which can have a negative impact on their health in addition to raising their utility expenditures.
A diversified strategy is needed to address the housing situation for students, in addition to rent regulations and landlord responsibility. This entails constructing more affordable housing units, putting vacant homes back into use, and ensuring that new construction is properly incorporated into the areas in which it is situated. These programs could expand the number of student housing options that are affordable and lessen the strain on the rental market.
Mp Candidate for Bristol Central and Co-leader of the Green Party recognises just how much of an impact this is having on student constituents in her area and across the country, “All of us can agree that without the security of a roof over our head and food on the table we are not able to fulfil our potential at school, university or work.
“Against the backdrop of the Government’s broken student loan system, huge rent increases made by landlords are damaging the wellbeing of young people and students. It is unacceptable that many students are missing out on the education they are paying thousands for because they are struggling to afford housing and food without working alongside full time study.
Carla Denyer proposes that “The Green Party has a plan to provide affordable accommodation to students, protecting those who need it the most. This includes introducing rent controls and abolishing tuition fees. We call on the Government to introduce measures which protect and empower students to get the most out of their education”.
As Young Greens we are campaigning to address these issues, it is imperative that rent controls are introduced nationwide, landlords are held accountable for the condition of their properties, and a commitment is made to building more affordable housing units.Our Young Green Councillors, Activist Groups and Members are showing up for meaningful change. Only by taking a comprehensive approach can we hope to ease the burden on students and create a housing market that is fair and accessible for all. It is our responsibility to ensure that students have a safe and stable place to call home while pursuing their educational goals.
Wherever young people’s lives may take them, the Young Greens are there to represent and advocate for their needs, views and wants, championing the rights of students and young people aged up to 30 across England and Wales. Join us now!
To get involved with the Young Greens on your campus or meet other Young Greens in your local area, visit our Groups page to find out more.