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Letter: The Number of Student Lets In Guildford Exacerbates Housing Problem

Published on: 10 Oct, 2013
Updated on: 10 Oct, 2013

Student Lets picFrom Bernard Parke

Hon Alderman

Unaffordable housing is perhaps a greater problem in towns where there are large numbers of students.

The affordable housing stock seems to be being bought up by outside bodies, and as they are let to students no council tax is paid and in many cases no local taxes or perhaps any UK taxes are being paid at all.

Nonetheless the very life style of these young tenants places a considerable burden on local government resources. We are told that some allowance is made by central government, but it is not known if this is sufficient to make up the shortfall in revenue returns.

The buy-to-let house purchases, mainly by absentee landlords, is pricing first time buyers out of the market.

Streets of at one time of  affordable housing are now becoming unaffordable and little more than overcrowded student dormitories.

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Responses to Letter: The Number of Student Lets In Guildford Exacerbates Housing Problem

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 11, 2013 at 12:18 am

    If there are 6000 students (figure claimed by University of Surrey) living off campus in Guildford, and they are occupying three bed houses, that means 2000 houses are occupied by part-time incomers.

    If the colleges built sufficient accommodation for their students it would free up 2000 house for those in need of low cost housing. This in turn would would reduce the pressure on green belt.

    So many simple solutions. So many excuses why they can’t happen.

  2. Keith Chesterton Reply

    October 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    It would help a bit, but

    1. Many people take in student lodgers to provide money so they can stay in their homes.

    2. What makes you think these lettings are “low cost”?

    3. These special student houses would still need to be built somewhere & would take land that could take other houses.

    Sorry, there are no “simple solutions”.

    Guildford does need now & will need in the future many more homes for people to live in.
    Many will be able to be built in our towns but many will also need to be built in the countryside.

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    October 12, 2013 at 8:09 am

    1) We do not refer to people taking students into family homes but to housing being bought up by outside organisation and over-filling them with young students, many of whom have just left home.

    2) These lettings are by no means low cost lettings. They are costly commercial exercises. They are burden on the council tax payer as no local taxes are paid.

    3) The building of students accommodation is a university problem and they are the largest land owner in the area.

    The solution lies mainly with central government.

    A new Rent Act would help.

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