University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard

ByJessica Hubbard

Oct 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research.

Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for two-thirds of people in their 20s. This age group is the most likely to be living in rented accommodation.

In the majority of postcode areas in the UK, young people are paying 30% or more of their salary on rented accommodation. This can be over 55% in Brighton and Hove. Shelter, a housing charity, considers rent of over 50% of a person’s income to be unaffordable.

The average monthly rent in the South East is £700 compared to an average of £1,018 in the BN1 postcode.

The South East is the second most expensive area outside of London for 22-29 year-olds to rent.

The research shows that flat-sharing, a popular choice among young people and students, does little to mitigate the high cost of renting. This can also lead to overcrowding and cramped living conditions.

Society and Citizenship Officer, Aisling Murray has previously accused Sussex University of not providing enough accommodation for students, saying it prevents prospective students from applying to study here.

A University of Sussex spokesperson told The Badger “Although the report highlights that the average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom property in Brighton and Hove is £1018 pcm, in recent years there have been a number of ‘luxury’ developments in the city, and a quick search on Rightmove shows a number of 1-bedroom properties in the £700-£800 pcm range.

“We do however acknowledge not only that the prices of rented accommodation in Brighton and Hove are high, but also that the quality of the private-sector housing stock can often be poor.

“Within University-managed accommodation, we set our rents in consultation with the Students’ Union each year, whilst also benchmarking against universities across the country to ensure that we are offering students accommodation at Sussex that suits a number of budgets.

“The First Generation Scholar scheme also supports a number of students each year by subsidising a portion of rent in University accommodation.

“We have been increasing the number of rooms available to students on campus.

“Although the new East Slope development is higher in price than the old East Slope residences, the prices of Park Village, Park Houses and Lewes Court Phase 1 were decreased to ensure that lower-cost options are still available to our students.  

“With regard to private-sector accommodation, we work across the academic year to equip students with the information needed to carry out a successful search for accommodation, including several Renting in the City workshops, one-to-one advice appointments, and the annual housing and community fair.

“Within this advice, we highlight to students options to suit a number of budgets and give tips for viewing to ensure that students can assess the quality of a property and avoid the poor conditions found in some properties in the city.

“The University is also a founding member and sponsor of Rent Smart Brighton and Hove, a collective of organisations that work in housing advice within the city such as Brighton and Hove City Council, University of Sussex Students’ Union, University of Brighton, Brighton Housing Trust, Citizens Advice and Southern Landlords Association.

“The purpose of Rent Smart is to work together on improving the quality of the private rented sector in Brighton and Hove by giving all renters in the city support and access to services, whilst highlighting the need for improvements in the sector through public events such as the annual Rent Smart conference.”

Image Credit: Geograph: Martyn Gorman

Jessica Hubbard

By Jessica Hubbard

Print Production Editor at The Badger. Third-year International Relations and International Development student. Time served at The Badger: since 2016. I like cooking, baking, and bringing cakes to Badger meetings!

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