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Student Accommodation Shortage in Glasgow Continues

Posted by Calum Martin in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, (View licence)

The shortage of stock of student accommodation in Glasgow continues to pose issues for prospective students.

This was highlighted last week, in which a one-bed city centre flat advertised at £895 per month received over 500 student applications within hours of coming live.

The housing shortage has been described as "a disgrace" by one Glasgow University staff member who also said students are being sent into the "wild wild west" of private lets.

The university has been condemned recently over its lack of provision of student accommodation. Students have now been warned not to enrol in courses or travel to the city if they are unable to secure a flat in advance.

Glasgow University have pulled a guarantee on offers on flats last month due to an "unprecedented number of applications" from those arriving on campus.

Graduate teaching assistant Rosie Hampton, postgraduate researcher representative for Glasgow at the University and College Union, commented on the shortage saying numbers attending the university have "massively increased", adding that she has around 50% more students than she did last year.

"It feels like you don't have enough time to give to individual students; subjectively I have less time within an hour and that doesn't feel fair.

"I'm massively concerned there has been no proper allocation for student accommodation. It's really unjust.

"So much has been happening over the last couple of years and they need a safe, secure place to sleep without worrying about how it will impact their studies.

"Everyone you speak to has a story. There are students out in the sticks not able to get accommodation, probably feeling a bit overwhelmed over freshers' week and that has made it worse. It's disheartening.

"There's a lack of care from the university about student experience. I'm heartbroken for students."

Pointed to universities in England that have offered to help students with rent costs as the cost of living crisis deepens, she added: "Instead, Glasgow University is saying 'we can't give you a home' and sending students into the wild wild west of private lets.

"This has been years in the making. Student numbers have increased year-on-year, fees are up, costs of living are more expensive, staff wages are not up, so they are saving money in that sense.

"This has always been on the horizon. Students have become the casualties of this crisis."

CEO of lettings agency Pacitti Jones, John O'Malley, commented on the one-bed city centre flat which received more than 500 applications overnight: "It's very, very dear. A one-bed flat isn't hugely popular with students. It's utterly unmanageable."

He continued: "It's not going to get any better until as a society we decide how we are going to get more stock.

"The bigger issue is the people who have left the market. We're seeing our own landlords selling a couple of properties each month and the demand from more and more students, particularly coming into the Glasgow west end area.

"There are market pressures and they're getting over and away above what they're asking for, including students and young professionals."

"If you put in to the landlord that you're willing to pay six months in advance, it'll get your application in front of them, but it's not guaranteed it will get accepted because others will be doing the same too."