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by Staff reporter
07 October 2021
Students call for action to address housing crisis

Students call for action to address housing crisis

The National Union of Students has called on the Scottish Government to address a growing housing crisis which has left young people unable to find accommodation close to where they study.

NUS Scotland said that huge levels of demand is leaving students homeless or having to "couch surf".

Matt Crilly, president of NUS Scotland, told BBC Good Morning Scotland that one flat in Glasgow had 300 enquiries in just 45 minutes.

He said: “Students are struggling to find places to live anywhere near the campus in which they study.

“Just yesterday, I heard from a student in Glasgow who was trying to find accommodation, and a flat that was listed in Glasgow, within 45 minutes the letting agent had had over 300 enquiries about the property.

“Students are finding that even if you manage to get a viewing for a flat, particularly in Glasgow or Edinburgh, you’re probably there with 40 other people. It’s incredibly competitive. We have students who are homeless, have no place to stay. We have students who are couch surfing or having to commute really long distances…”

Crilly said the situation in Glasgow was possibly being exacerbated by the COP26 climate summit, with many flat being offered as short-term lets for delegates.

Jamie Hepburn, the minister for higher and further education, said the government was concerned about the issues raised by NUS Scotland.

"While the Scottish Government has no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation, we would strongly encourage students with those concerns to speak with their college or university," he added.

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