9:09 AM, 18th August 2022, About 2 years ago 4
One in seven university students fear they may become homeless within the next six months as escalating bills, rent and food prices pile pressure on their limited finances, research reveals.
The Nationwide Building Society says that its poll of 1,000 university students found two-thirds (66%) of students are struggling to afford to pay for their housing costs or have fallen behind on their rent.
And the housing charity Shelter says that ‘record-high rents’ are part of the reason why students could be made homeless.
Nationwide says it found that almost three quarters (73%) of students have had to borrow money from family members to pay for essentials such as food and rent in the last year, and four in 10 (42%) relied on their overdrafts to cover these necessary outgoings.
The study highlights that more than one in five (22%) know someone who has become homeless within the last year due to financial difficulties – and they are either sofa surfing, staying in a hostel or rough sleeping.
The survey also highlights that student housing costs were a ‘key factor’ in deciding which university to attend for 24% of students.
And, as they get ready to start a new year of study next month, many students say they are facing issues to pay for essentials like food and rent.
Almost half (47%) have felt ‘shame and embarrassment’ in asking to borrow more and a third (36%) felt they couldn’t ask for help to pay for these essentials.
Regionally, there are big differences being expressed by students who worry they may become homeless in the next six months.
The area with the highest level of worry are for students in the West Midlands (21%), followed by Greater London (20%) and Yorkshire and Humber (17%).
Charlotte Kensett, Nationwide’s director of brand and engagement, said: “After a torrid time during the pandemic, many students will now be facing an uphill struggle to stretch their finances even further.”
Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, said: “No student should have their education derailed because they’re worrying about how to make ends meet.
“Yet record-high rents and crippling food and fuel bills are pushing worrying numbers of university students to the brink of homelessness.”
She added: “Every day our frontline services are working tirelessly to help people keep a roof over their heads.
“We’re here to help any student who is struggling with their housing or facing homelessness.”
News that students are worrying about paying their rent follows a warning from the rent guarantee service Housing Hand this week that a ‘tsunami’ of students will struggle to find accommodation this year.
They say that universities around the country are struggling to find enough accommodation for their students before the next semester starts.
Previous ArticlePrivate landlords tell council what they think