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Student Accommodation: The State of the Nation in 2024

  • 15 February 2024
  • By Martin Blakey
  • HEPI number Policy Note 52

In a new paper from the Higher Education Policy Institute, Student Accommodation: The State of the Nation in 2024, Martin Blakey, the former Chief Executive of the Leeds-based student housing charity Unipol, explains the changes in the student accommodation market that have led to higher rents.

Following the recent announcement that the maximum maintenance loan in England will increase by only 2.5% in 2024/25 and the fact that rents have been rising faster than maintenance support, the HEPI Policy Note outlines a possible a new approach, including:

  • introducing an adjustable energy supplement on rents, encouraging better use of energy;
  • organising flats in clusters of 12 to 20 students, around a central kitchen / leisure area;
  • smaller pod-sized rooms, perhaps of around 10m2, including en suite;
  • good communal spaces for lounge and study areas – especially important when rooms are smaller;
  • overnight security only or more co-operation with universities’ own security services;
  • buildings of around 300 to 350 student beds, to try and get the best fit on running costs; and
  • mixing up room sizes and facilities within one building, with rooms differentially priced.

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