New East Slope accommodation will cost £156.55 per week, £6,084 a year, The Badger can exclusively reveal.
The new development, which is part of the University’s £750 million campus masterplan, will open in phases between 2018 and 2021. On completion, the new development will house more than 2,000 students, tripling the amount of housing on the East Slope site.
At £156.55 per week, the University has priced the new accommodation in line with its other ensuite campus accommodation, Northfield and Swanborough, which both charge £156 per week.
The newly developed cluster flats in East Slope, which The Badger received an exclusive look at, will feature ensuite bedrooms, two fridges, two tall cupboards and multiple general use cupboards. The rest of the provided materials are standard, including a microwave, oven, and washing stations. The flats shall also include bookable study rooms. The town house developments will instead offer shared facilities.
The overall finished development will feature social spaces, modern laundry rooms, and secure bicycle storage for every resident. The new student village will also include a number of retail outlets and a student centre. The residences will also include environmentally friendly features, such as greywater treatment and recycling systems and a number of green and brown roofs.
The University has announced that rent cuts, which were announced last August, are to be implemented in the next academic year, affecting around one in three students living on campus. Overall 1,400 bed spaces will have reduced rates in the 2018/19 academic year.
Park Village will cost £90 a week, down from £98.53, making it the cheapest accommodation on campus. Lewes Court 1 is also experiencing a rent reduction, to £119 a week from £128.74, and Park Houses is down to £111 from £115.83.
The University agreed the rents following close consultation with the Students’ Union.
Frida Gustafsson, Students’ Union President, told The Badger: “the Students’ Union and the student-led Cut The Rent campaign were instrumental in the cutting of rent for a third of accommodations on campus. However, it’s disappointing to see that the new East Slope Residences are going up at such a high cost to students. This is why the Officers and our student groups need to continue lobbying for cheaper rents at Sussex, and something I will be focusing on when going into rent negotiations with the University in the next few weeks”.
Simon Neale, Director of Estates and Facilities Management, said: “It’s been great to work with our students to ensure that we continue to offer housing options to suit a range of budgets and needs.”
Ketan Jha, an organiser from Brighton’s branch of the ACORN renters’ union told The Badger: “While it’s great that the University has committed to a ‘high standard’, the new development’s cost is still financially untenable in the light of current maintenance grant levels. On campus accommodation should be affordable relative to student budgets, not an extortionate market rate. Sussex has missed an opportunity to lead on access and widening participation.”