The housing crisis in London has not bypassed student accommodation one bit.
Currently students at UCL halls of accommodation in Camden are organising weekly meetings to fight back against worsening living conditions (including no hot water for two weeks) as well as above-inflation increases in rent year by year.
UCL is one of the worst offenders for overpriced student housing, with an average price of £157.77 per week for a basic single room, and many rooms costing more than £200. Many students are having to pay more for their rent than they receive in their student loan.
As well as this, university halls are increasingly being privatised. Companies such as Unite (no relation to the union) and Nido are using students as cash cows, while the university itself can wash its hands of any problems
The move towards privatisation will only mean that profits will take over from students’ needs as the main focus of the preservation of halls.
Students are now realising that the only way to halt the deterioration of their conditions, and the new neoliberal university agenda that sees students as “customers”, is to organise and fight back.