Are You Worried About The Student Accommodation Crisis? Check Out Our Tips
Within the UK there is currently a growing shortage of housing for students, with many having to live in unsuitable and unaffordable properties.
The main causes of the student accommodation crisis is due to the student population becoming larger and the increase in cost of living and tuition across the country.
The impact of this housing crisis is no doubt having a negative impact on students’ physical and mental health, as well as their academic performance.
There’s also been reports of students who are experiencing homelessness due to accommodation shortages.
If the student accommodation crisis is affecting you, we’ve put together this guide with some tips that may be useful to you.
What Is Causing The Student Accommodation Crisis?
The student accommodation crisis we’re seeing within the UK is due to multiple factors including an increase in students who are enrolling in higher education, which means the demand for accommodation has increased.
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently enough purpose-built student accommodation in the country to meet these demands.
Other factors which have led to the housing crisis is the increase in cost of tuition and living expenses, which have made it harder for students to afford suitable accommodation.
Many students who deferred their university place during the pandemic and international students who went back to their home countries have also returned to study, which has also caused a general shortage in suitable accommodation.
Overall, there are so many things which have contributed to the student accommodation crisis we’re experiencing within the UK, with shortages that have not been witnessed since the 1970s.
What Impact Is This Having?
A student’s living environment is detrimental to their education with so many studies showcasing that those who live in a secure living space are more likely to have better academic outcomes, as well as better mental health.
To look at the real scale of the student accommodation crisis, students across the country have showcased on TikTok how they’re living hours away from their uni campus, moving back in with their parents, sofa surfing, staying over at AirBnbs or hotels, or even dropping out of university because they have nowhere to stay.
There’s also videos online of students who are accepting unsuitable places to stay as they have no other choice, or even considering camping on campus to avoid the long daily commutes.
Some Russell Group universities even paid students to defer the year due to accommodation shortages within the 2021/2022 academic year.
StuRents a student property search engine that represents 70% of student beds in the country, states there is a shortfall of 207,000 student beds, as well as a 10% undersupply of beds in 19 towns and cities.
Further research shows that by 2025 there will be a shortfall of around 450,000 student beds in the UK.
Unfortunately these figures suggest the crisis isn’t going to disappear any time soon, unless universities, local governments and the housing sector work together to provide suitable measures.
The impact of the student accommodation crisis is being felt across the country, leaving many students on the brink of homelessness, and for some they’re already experiencing it.
Tips For Students
The issues of the student accommodation crisis pose significant challenges whilst studying for your degree, but there are some tips which may be of use to you.
Find out more below.
1. Search Early For Accommodation
If you’re worried about the student accommodation crisis, our first tip is to start searching for accommodation as early as you can, before the start of the academic year.
This way, you’ll have more time to sort out your accommodation and there will be more options when it comes to where to live.
If you leave things until the last minute, there may be less affordable or suited housing available in your university city or town, and it can be a stressful experience hunting for accommodation with a lack of choice.
We know, even searching early doesn’t guarantee you a place to live, but it gives you a better chance if you get the ball rolling early on!
2. Source Out Help
We’d suggest talking to your university for help as they should be able to offer housing assistance like where to find suitable accommodation, the financial support which is available as well as mental wellbeing support.
There’s no doubt that the student accommodation crisis could be affecting your academic performance.
If so, you should speak to your university tutors as you may be able to apply for extenuating circumstances if you’re finding it difficult to attend or complete your assessments.
Have you noticed the impacts of the student housing shortage are taking a toll on your mental health? You should speak to your GP or other mental health services.
Make sure not to suffer in silence during these difficult times, there is help out there for students!
3. Make Use Of Online Resources
Our next tip for the student accommodation crisis is to make use of online resources whether it’s on social media, university forums, or other online platforms.
This way you can connect with other students to share tips, advice as well as speak to people in your university city or town who are also searching for accommodation.
There are plenty of helpful resources out there if you’re being hit hard by the student accommodation crisis, with charities and shelters such as Shelter, Student Minds and Citizens Advice being a few of the organisations who can offer support.
Shared accommodation may be a better and more affordable option for you, so it’s worth considering and speaking with other students to source out potential housemates.
It may just be nice to talk with other UK students who are in a similar position to you so that you can support each other and help fight for change!
4. Think About All Your Options
Try and keep your options open when searching for student accommodation as there may be other alternative options available.
Some other options could include staying in shared accommodation with other students, choosing private accommodation rather than university halls, living with local families or considering accommodation in locations further out from campus.
We know, it’s not as appealing to be located further out from university but there may be more affordable options in different locations in your uni city or town.
Whilst it’s not ideal, you could also consider moving back in with your family and commuting to university if it’s an option, especially due to the rising cost of living.
If possible, try to find accommodation which includes all-inclusive rent so you don’t have to worry about stretching your budget further.
If you’re unable to find suitable housing whilst at university, you should search for emergency accommodation to help with student homelessness in your local area.
5. Speak To Family & Friends
It’s so important to have a support network during these challenging times amidst the student housing crisis as you need people you can lean on and get advice from.
Chances are, you’ll have friends at university who are in the same boat as you, so reach out to them and support one another.
Keeping things to yourself and not opening up about your struggles will only make you feel worse.
Instead make sure to reach out to people whether it be your family, friends, significant other and so forth.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
Depression and anxiety along with other mental health problems amongst students in the current climate is sadly becoming more and more common.
So, it’s never been more important to take care of yourself and support your mental wellbeing during the student housing crisis.
Although it’s hard, try your best to enjoy your student experience, spend time doing things you like, make memories with your friends and most of all take time to look after your mental health.
A few ways you can help your mental wellbeing is to connect with other people, focus on being physically active, learn new skills and hobbies, as well as practice mindfulness by paying attention to the present moment.
To conclude, the student housing crisis across the UK is a challenging issue which is causing worsening living conditions for those in higher education. It’s vital for measures to be put in place to help students.
We hope these tips we’ve discussed have been helpful for those worried about the current climate, make sure to reach out for help if you are struggling.
Essential Student Living
Here at Essential Student Living, we know that accommodation can be a major factor in supporting your learning.
Which is why we offer all utility bills included within your rent and have built partnerships with many universities and student unions around the UK. View our properties in first class locations today!
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