After a rent increase of almost 20% in just two years, students from over 25 UK universities have called for a weekend of rent strikes starting 19th October.
It comes following a successful rent strike that took place last June. Students from UCL refused to pay the increased prices for bad accommodation and managed to accept concessions totalling almost £2million.
The main reason behind the rent strike is due to price.
Halls in universities across London can cost, on average, £9,000 a year, while students living in Oxford, Norwich, Liverpool, York, Birmingham and Coventry will pay between £6,000 and £7,000.
This is a stark contrast to those students who study in Northampton, who pay less than £3,500 a year for a room in halls, or Manchester where prices are just over £4,000.
The NUS is now calling for a system where 25% of all university rooms are charged at 50% of the maximum amount of student loan available.
“As an assembly of students from over 25 universities, we collectively call on students across the country to seriously consider rent strikes as a viable and productive course of action, which has the potential to leverage the power of the student body to materially improve conditions for students who find themselves placed in housing stress.
“The housing crisis is not specific to students – rent is everyone’s problem, suffocating the lives of millions and disproportionately affecting women, the disabled and black and brown communities. We call on all students to offer immediate and consensual support all those struggling to simply exist.
“University managements’ attempts to exploit us through high rents can be stopped. We are no longer interested in pursuing a defensive agenda. By rent striking we fight to win a meaningful life.
“We call for mobilisation towards coordinated rent strikes in January, with an initial day of action on Friday, 21st October. We call for all students looking to find a better world to join us.
“See you on the streets.”