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Students’ Union UCL has been working with and supporting the students from the UCL, Cut The Rent campaign, since it began with the hugely successful rent strikes in 2015. The campaign highlights, both the disparity between price and quality of UCL accommodation, and the woeful state of the renting market in the UK more generally, particularly in London. 

In the past few years, campaigners have focused on addressing the prohibitively high cost of official UCL accommodation, noting how little of the average maintenance loan remains after rent costs have been covered, the surplus made by the university accommodation service and rises in cost that outstrips both inflation and the increase in student loans. 

Today, we are really pleased to announce a major win for the campaign. Following ongoing negotiation with UCL management, we have secured the following agreements regarding next year’s rent numbers.

  • A 4% reduction in rent on 17% of the cheapest rooms at Ifor Evans Hall and Max Rayne House
  • Rents will remain frozen on most affordable 14% of rooms
  • Where rent is increasing, it will be at lesser than the increase in student loans (apart from in the newly re-furbished Astor College, which is quite an improvement on previous standards!). In real terms this means a reduction in 90% of all rooms/beds. 
  • This means that 34% of rooms next year will be available for 50% of the maintenance loan or less. 

This is a great step in the right direction that will have a positive impact on students joining UCL next year and we are really proud to see that the hard work and dedication of the student who are committed to this campaign is paying off once again. After working closely with Cut The Rent on the negotiations, your Welfare and International Officer, Aiysha says this is a win for students:

“Together, we have played a notable part in reaching an agreement regarding rent realignment in UCL residences, and we are committed to continuing this in the future. We look forward to working with UCL and our members who live in UCL residences to ensure accommodation provided is of high quality and affordable, so as to continue increasing access to higher education for those who would have otherwise have been deterred.”

That said, whilst this is a definite improvement, there is still a long way to go until UCL halls are truly affordable and we will continue to work with the Cut The Rent campaign to fight to make that happen.