Whilst the shortage of student accommodation in some cities often makes the headlines, it's rarer to hear a story of student accommodation being used to alleviate conventional housing difficulties. However, yesterday Labour announced that at the next meeting of Northampton Borough Council in December, they will be asking the Conservative administration in the city to buy up the blocks on the university's Park Campus once they become vacant in 2018.
The proposal comes as the university gears up to move to its new Waterside Campus, leaving its current campus vacant, and ripe for redevelopment. Other proposals for the soon to be empty campus include building hundreds of new housing on the site.
The leader of the Northampton Labour Group, Councillor Danielle Stone, has said, "I'm not necessarily opposed to this housing development, although the roads need to be improved, but I think the student accommodation could be used by the borough council to ease our local housing crisis."
"We have a high proliferation of HIMOs in the town, some rough sleepers and the council using bed and breakfast as emergency accommodation. Surely we could make use of this accommodation? I want the borough council to look seriously into the possibility of acquiring it."