Goldsmiths College has announced the rent prices for student halls in 2017/18 and yet again they have been hiked up. For some halls this has means a 40% increase. In most others, the rate is far higher than that of inflation.
We believe this means that students will be priced out of Goldsmiths halls and in turn miss out on the introduction to university life that safe, cheap, local accommodation with like minded students can bring.
Whilst accommodation provided by the College ranges from £111 to £307.50 per week, the cheapest options account for only 0.9% of halls accommodation available.
Campaigns & Activities Officer, Eva, responded; “This is not acceptable. Universities have a duty of care for their students, and especially to first years, which includes providing them with affordable, liveable and safe accommodation.”
Undoubtedly, these increases price out students from low income backgrounds and present a tangible barrier to education, never mind the knock on effects this can have on students’ mental health.
“If you have to work a 25+ hour week to even afford rent how will our students be able to devote time to their studies let alone sleep at night out of worry”, Education Officer, Mollie, commented. “No student should have to be working multiple jobs just to afford extortionate rent that only goes into the pockets of private investors [who run the halls].”
Welfare & Diversity Officer, Tara, voiced concerns about the University’s decision: “While the University is saying they’re going to increase funding for counselling services, they’re choosing to ignore the root causes of rising mental health issues, such as increased debt - the cost of housing has incredibly dangerous effects on students’ wellbeing.”
International students are among those who will be hit hard by these price increases, Union President, Danny, pointed out: “If the option of halls is unaffordable for an international student then the University is leaving them vulnerable to exploitative landlords and not fulfilling its duty of care.”
He continued; “New students coming into this country don't necessarily have complete information and are sold halls as the only option for accommodation often putting a massive financial strain on them and their families.”
To follow up on these announcements, we recommend that incoming first year students look at cheaper, alternative options, including private rental. We will be providing more information on how to find housemates and housing in London on our website in due course.
In the meantime, you can attend our Housing Rights Workshop on Thursday 25th May or see what other action is happening on campus and get involved via the Cut The Rent Facebook Page.