NUS President, Malia Bouattia, has offered her “full support” to students participating in Rent strike in a statement published on the NUS website promising to put together “practical resources” for those on rent strike such as legal support.
In the statement Bouttia called on more students to join rent strike labelling UCL current rents “unacceptable” and “extortionate.”
Despite the fact that UCL has introduced accommodation bursaries after last year’s Rent Strike only 0.8% of UCL housing is categorised as affordable by NUS. To meet NUS standards of “fair and affordable rent” UCL would have to lower the rent of 24.2% of its accommodation.
In a statement given to Pi, Bouattia explained that she stood “behind the UCL rent strike” because “the extortionate cost of rent is yet another barrier for working class students at university.”
Bouattia has also written directly to UCL management condemning the UCL for putting its students “at risk of homelessness” by not acting as a “guarantor.” She urged UCL management to “engage” with the rent strike’s demands and not to “bully students” into leaving the strike.
However, despite Bouttia support of rent strike, there are far fewer students involved this year than last, just over 150 compared to nearly 1000. UCL Cut the Rent is having a difficult time recruiting first years.
Their current tactic to gain more support is to hold a weekly cake sale to raise awareness, the first one is tomorrow.
Featured image: BBC