Following the Big Rent Survey, we analysed the data and compiled the Big Rent Report which was present to the Rent Review Group. Today - a year ago since the Fair Rent Now! protest - we have managed to secure a huge deal for students:
• The creation of new fund called the ‘Accommodation Enhancement Fund’, which will be allocated £125k for 2017/18. Successful applicants to the fund will be awarded a sum of money that will be deducted from the total cost of their rent. for example, a student living in Fraser of Allander, (which costs £93/week) who is awarded £500 for the year, will pay around £80/week. If they live in Polwarth and get £1k, they will pay around £57/week, making our accommodation amongst the most affordable in Britain.
• 1% reduction on Polwarth.
• Price freezes on the University’s heritage properties (except Andrew Stewart Hall).
• Agreement that University will map out a long-term Accommodation Strategy.
Within the overall plan for 2017/18 there will also be a:
• 1% increase on Andrew Stewart Hall.
• 2.5% increase on Beech, Willow & Juniper.
This fund is designed to benefit students from poorer backgrounds and will be the first time we have rent subsidies. This fund is ground-breaking and innovative and to the best of our knowledge, no one else seems to be doing this. It is effectively a housing benefit.
The deal we have struck with the University is the biggest victory on rent we have had to date and the enhancement fund will make lasting changes to those who need it. It will make the University more accessible to poorer students and it is the first step on our way to securing further rent subsidies.
-Dave, Union President