Following the Housing Survey that many of you filled out in December, I am really pleased to share our findings from the survey in a short report.
Student housing has been at the forefront of national student conversation over the last few years: student numbers are growing; house prices are rising; the quality of housing is dubious; and there’s an ever-growing culture of panic and pressure.
At the SU, we want to challenge the misconception that students have a disregard for the condition of their homes and are happy to live in second-rate accommodation, and also shed light on the issues that students experience with landlords/estate agents.
Unfortunately, these issues are all too familiar for many Durham students. We have heard first-hand from students the impact that poor quality, unaffordable housing can have on student experience. Our concerns have been reflected in the numerous articles published by Palatinate, which have highlighted the Durham ‘housing rush’ and ‘panic’. This year, the housing situation in Durham seems to have reached an all-time low, leading Purple Radio to launch an investigation into the private rental sector within Durham.
As an SU, we are committed to promoting students’ wellbeing, and recognise the importance of good quality, affordable housing for all. We launched the Durham Private Rented Housing Survey at the end of 2018, to help us build a picture of what the main issues are for you, as students in Durham, and how we can use our influence as a Union to make change.
You can read the full report here, including my recommendations for the next steps in tackling these issues.
Finally – a big thank you to all those who took the time to complete the survey! Your responses are invaluable in helping us to understand your experiences and where we can go from here.