After the homegrown success of UCL Cut The Rent, the national, 25 university-strong ‘Rent Strike’ movement has taken form.
After being launched in September of this year, ’Rent Strike’ was at the protest yesterday against the governments new Higher Education Bill and has started to gain momentum.
They told Pi Media that “increasingly, students are drawing links between the marketisation of universities and increased accommodation costs.”
Some housing campaigners believe that Universities are increasing accommodation rents to counteract the cuts that have been implemented on them by the last government’s austerity policies.
Research from the NUS (National Union of Students) said that rents at university accommodations have “skyrocketed” since 2010.
“Rent Strike” argues that high rents and educational cuts are “forcing increasing numbers of students into poverty and homelessness.” There have been cases of university students not being able to afford daily necessities such as food and having to rely on food banks and soup kitchens.
If the conditions of student accommodation continue to worsen, Rent Strike believe that “widespread action is… likely.” In fact, they say that “coordinated rent strikes” may occur as soon as the new year.”
It is possible that UCL Cut the Rent will also launch a new action in January. On Friday, they gave Duncan Palmer, the interim Head of Student Accommodation, a petition signed by over 500 students demanding rent be cut by 10%.
Mr Palmer has been given a deadline of December 1st to decide if he will implement the cut.