Candidate for the position of Housing Officer

Image for Justine Pedussel

Justine Pedussel

Better Housing, Affordable Housing, More Housing

Hi! I’m Justine Pédussel, a third-year BA student in History and Law. I arrived at this university in the middle of Covid and lived in HH Donnelly, which is known as one of the “bad” university accommodations. Since that time, in the last two years I have become an active member of Living Rent. Additionally, I have been involved in canvassing the university accommodations to pinpoint the problems. I hope to use this in my capacity as housing officer but regardless of my election, to ensure that there is better housing, affordable housing, and more housing for the students at this university. Please read below for more. Thanks!

Better Housing

It is absolutely unacceptable that any housing should have mould, poor ventilation, bad insolation, or bees (!) (or other animals). This should not be the case in any home in Scotland and it should certainly not exist nor be promoted by a university institution that advertises their accommodation to students. No accommodation should have unsafe ceilings due to any of the following: cables hanging out, anything getting through, leakages, and perhaps literally a collapsing ceiling, etc. University accommodation should not go up in price at all, but the quality of housing must go up significantly.

Affordable Housing

No one should feel like they need to pay for Willow, Juniper, and Beech Court because the other accommodations are so bad, nor should anyone feel like they do not deserve that quality because they cannot afford to pay for it. The “niceness” of these fancy accommodations should be the norm for all accommodations at the price of the “bad” ones. In the last two years rent in town has gone up from around £250 to around £450 per person. Why? Inflation, demand, and because landlords can. During the cost-of-living crisis, a rent freeze was implemented by the Scottish Government to prevent it from going up even more, however, university accommodation has been dropped from it. This means that the university could increase rent by however much they want for the next academic year, unless someone stops them.

More Housing

The university has increased its student population from 14,000 to 17,000. There was barely enough housing for 14,000 and most of them weren’t good already. The result of this increase in intake has been a much higher demand for housing and therefore rogue landlords were able to get away with a lot more. Now, there is definitely not enough housing, rent in town increased significantly. I with in some cases even “bidding” occurring for a flat, and the quality of housing is still terrible. The university should not take in more students than they are able to provide accommodation for.