Vote Cian. Success starts at home.
There are clear issues with student housing in Stirling. From double digit increases of rent above inflation in Accommodation, to security issues in older accommodation buildings and accessibility issues for disabled students. While chairing a meeting to form a Tenants Union it took nearly an hour to set out our main aims due to the difficulty of discussing the numerous issues present. It is clear the current student housing situation isn’t working. Therefore, I propose working on the foundations laid out by the departing housing officer Josh Muirhead and finding a democratic, student-led solution to improve student housing.
A STUDENT-LED ALTERANATIVE
1. Affordable Housing Provision
With the increasing price of student housing, the replacement of affordable accommodation options with expensive ones has curtailed the provision of affordable options. I will work with the Student Union to pressure the University to try and change this. This can be achieved either through a model which Edinburgh University are currently discussing where they outsource older accommodation as an affordable student co-operative option or ensuring that any new accommodation built is affordable.
2. A Student-led Tenants Union
I will work to build the Tenants Union established on the 4th of February 2019 by working with the Sabbatical Officers of the Student Union. In the short term this organisation will act as a pressure group and a platform for students to actively push their concerns regarding housing. In the long term, it will aim to negotiate rent deals independently from the Student Union, due to its ability to have a more direct approach than the Student Union, which understandably has to keep closer ties with the University.
3. Student Housing Co-operative
Working with the Student Union and the University, I aim to develop a student housing co-operative here in Stirling to offer a democratic, affordable and student owned alternative to the present duality of private and university accommodation.
4. Letting Agents Quality Control Working Group
I will establish a working group which will gather information on the experiences of students with different letting agents. This will allow for students entering the private rent market to have the information they need to make informed decisions when choosing which letting agents to let from and allow for the tenant union and student union to reach out to sub-standard letting agents and try and improve the standard of service for students.
The University of Stirling should recognise that success is at home. Students should have secure and affordable housing of a reasonable standard. I hope you are willing to lend me your vote to help us achieve this.