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NUS Supportive of Further Nationwide Rent Strikes

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The National Union of Students (NUS) has said it will support students that decide to go on rent strikes, with thousands expected to protest against rising rates.

With government announcing that maintenance grants will be scrapped in favour of additional loans, NUS has said that demand for affordable housing is now greater than ever. NUS wants to see institutions take a "social" approach to rent setting, with full consultation with the student body as part of its campaign for affordable accommodation.

NUS has recommended that at least 25% of all bed spaces are charged at 50% of the value of student loans, to ensure access to accommodation for low income students.

Rent striking students hit the headlines after more than 1,000 withheld payments at universities across London, and claimed a victory when those at University College London (UCL) won rent freezes and concessions estimated to be worth over £1 million.

It's argued that the fact so many students were prepared to strike, despite the personal risk, highlights the severity of the problem.

NUS have said that they fully support the actions of rent strikers, and have urged universities to engage in negotiations to ensure that future rents are set at levels that students can afford to pay.

Activists from the Cut the Rent campaign and the Radical Housing Network are hosting a weekend rent strike training event between September 16-18, and will include a number of workshops designed to advance university rent strikes.

With UCL students able to win concessions due to their strike action, it's hoped that similar protests can be replicated across the country.