Are student digs being replaced by luxury pads?

22 June 2015

This meeting took place on 23 June 2015. Read the transcript here.

From The Young Ones to Fresh Meat, it’s a classic rite of passage – student digs in a shared house.

But increasingly in London, the traditional shared student house is giving way to blocks of purpose-built flats.

At the same time, it’s becoming more and more expensive for students to rent in the city.

By creating specialist blocks, developers can get round the usual need for affordable homes. Specialist blocks should mean that families can move into former student houses…but only if students can afford to live there.

Are providers just building luxury pads for wealthy students? Do the Mayor’s new plans, for future student blocks to include affordable units, get the balance right? And should we ‘cluster’ students in one area – or spread them out across the capital?

As part of its investigation into Purpose Built Student Accommodation, the London Assembly Housing Committee will hold a meeting tomorrow and question the following guests:

Asif Uz Zaman, Design & Planning Manager, Unite Group

Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes, London Borough of Southwark

Marcus Roberts, Head of Student Investment & Development, Savills

Colum McGuire, Vice-President (Welfare), National Union of Students

Professor Chris Hamnett, Emeritus Professor of Geography, King’s College London

Roland Shanks, Information and Projects Manager, University of London Housing Services (from 11:30am)

The meeting will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 23 June from 10:00am in Committee Room 5, City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.


Notes for Editors:

The agenda and committee papers are available here.

Tom Copley AM, Chair of the Housing Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Ash Singleton on 020 7983 5769. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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