Renters Union Affordable Housing Campaign

This student-led campaign tackles the increasing unaffordability and inaccessibility of housing on Sussex campus. We are concerned about the new West Slope development and also the general trend of increasing rents across campus. If you are interested in joining or are affected by any of the issues mentioned, please get in touch! The campaign welcomes everyone and you can get involved as much or as little as you like.

Aims and objectives

The campaign aims to:

  • Decrease the rent of most campus accommodation to a student defined definition of affordable so that all people wishing to go to university can do so despite their socio-economic background.
  • Ensure that the designs are truly sustainable
  • Ensure that students are properly consulted about the West Slope developments meaning that developers will be open to change within their plans. We aim to facilitate the consultation that should have already taken place regarding West slope.
  • Secure more support for student parents and families

Our main objectives are to:

  • Increase student parents provision of affordable accommodation.
  • Increase the percentage of accessible yet affordable housing.
  • Bring back truly affordable accommodation to Sussex campus.
  • To kindle a community focus with new housing. · Empower “Student Lets” on campus.

Campaign background

We started this campaign because:

Every year rent on campus increases at a rate faster than inflation and without any improvements which would justify a rise in price. As if this wasn’t enough, the university has plans to demolish the only affordable accommodation on campus (Park Village, York House, Kulukundis, Norwich house) and replace them with luxury accommodation whose token 25% “affordable accommodation” is £165 a week.

  • The already small quantity of family housing will be halved, and the replacement will be insufficient to meet the demand.
  • With increasing rents, less and less students will be able to afford to attend university and universities face becoming gentrified and only for a select few.
  • Students are having to balance their studies as well as part-time jobs to afford living on campus. This not only affects their grades but also their mental health and wellbeing.
  • There has been insufficient consultation and communication with students about the plans for West Slope and most students aren’t even aware of the price of the new planned accommodation. We have been conducting our own questionnaire to ask if students felt they had been consulted and most answered ‘no’!
  • We believe there are things we can do- campus accommodation didn’t use to be this expensive, students have never demanded the luxury accommodation now being exclusively built and inflation is not an excuse as rents are increasing more than inflation
  • The plans for the new accommodation are not as sustainable as possible and they could have been made self-heating with an increase of 5% to their budget. We are concerned about the long term sustainability of the new West Slope development

Get involved

Facebook: Affordable Housing Sussex Uni

Email: [email protected]