Potential Student Housing Crisis Revealed

Figures obtained by a local council reveal growing gulf between student numbers and accommodation provided on campus.

Ten years ago there were 8,525 students and 3,100 bed spaces on campus.

Figures for the last academic year show that the number of students had grown to 13,908, while the number of places on campus has only grown to 4,679.

The Heslington East expansion will further exacerbate this trend, bringing an extra 5,400 to the city but only providing 3,300 extra bed spaces.

A University spokesman said the figures related to the total numbers of students many of whom were distance learners or local residents doing part-time or evening courses and therefore did not require on-campus accommodation.

“Nevertheless, over the last five years the number of bed spaces that we are providing has increased by more than 37 per cent. In the last three years alone we have provided nearly 1,000 additional bed spaces. We have also spent £5 million refurbishing our existing student accommodation.”

Although the figures alone may not present a serious problem they come at the same time as the City of York Council took further steps to reduce the growing number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), limiting the amount of homes available to students off campus.

Recently three separate applications, in traditionally student areas, have all been refused permission by the city’s planning committee following residents’ objections.

These judgments suggest that the University’s reliance on off-campus accommodation could cause serious housing problems for students in the future.