#SaveOurStudents

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Students are being treated unfairly, yet having their concerns dismissed by decision-makers. Housemates is calling for the Government to step in and provide a fair deal to students, whilst supporting student accommodation providers to navigate this crisis.
Students are dealing with the deep physical and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; losing family members and friends to the virus, feeling isolated and disconnected from teaching staff, course-mates and friends, not having access to facilities, and a chaotic shift to online learning with little notice.

But beyond the impact to their studies, since being encouraged to return home for the winter break, the majority of students are paying for university accommodation that they are legally not allowed to enter. Accommodation that they signed up for under the false promise from universities and the Government of near-normality with at least a decent amount of in-person teaching, with a clearly insufficient or perhaps non-existent Plan B.

Students are up against a mental health and financial crisis with little in the way of support from decision-makers in government, universities boards and landlords.

We’re calling for: 

Clarity

Clarity. The government has failed to provide any clear guidance or support to students or student accommodation providers in any briefing this year. Students and the higher education sector need the Government to be transparent on the situation.

Fairness

Fairness. Students at over 45+ institutions and counting are striking on their rent because they feel they’ve been monetised like adults, but had their concerns dismissed like children. It’s the biggest rent strike action for over 40 years and a clear sign that something needs to be done.

Flexibility

Flexibility. Current measures are right and necessary for everyone’s safety. However, with any ease in restrictions before spring break now looking unlikely, students clearly need the flexibility to leave their tenancies early and without penalisation.

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Smooth operator, rough situation.
Accommodation operators need support. Many operators have found themselves in a difficult position; under legal contract to pay rent to building owners, such as developers, but with demands for rent rebates and early contract releases from students.

It’s tricky, but it’s not all bad news. The future can be bright for accommodation operators and the higher education sector, which could be a beacon of hope in response to the economic crisis, as it has been before. However, accommodation operators and the wider HE sector need targeted financial support right now to put students first and ensure they actually have a future beyond this pandemic.
Lydia Jones, CEO

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Lydia Jones, CEO

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