According to a recent housing report from Citizens Advice, Exeter requires more student accommodation spread out across the city in order to tackle the limited supply of student housing.
The report, named ‘Dispatches’, emphasises the growing student population as one of the causes of this housing issue and highlights “the need to offer student accommodation options more widely across the city by improving transport links, introducing planning policies to dis-incentivise property developers and incentivise students to live further away from the university.”
Steve Barriball, Chief Executive of Exeter CAB, stated: “In Exeter we have seen the city and the university grow. We were interested in the impact of this growth on streets around the university and how large numbers of students renting properties affected families looking to rent in the same areas.”
“We found a need for the management of this growth and we would recommend further consideration of how to restore the residential balance in certain areas in a manner which encourages social mixing, rather than segregation, as in the case with the purpose-built student housing.”
Other recommendations from the report consist of the need to “develop an alternative model of landlord accreditation” and “give consideration to the use of a specialised lettings agency that could manage the types of tenants taking on properties in certain streets to regain a balance within the community.”
As one of eight local Citizens Advice units across England and Wales, Exeter contributed considerably to the ‘Dispatches’ report.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of National Citizens Advice concluded: “Exeter has raised an important issue as one of the many facets of the housing debate. Across the country too many people are living in homes that don’t meet their needs – from private renters in a damp property or homeowners who can’t afford to move. It is really important there is a wide debate about the housing challenges facing the nation.”
Citizens Advice charity claims to help three people every minute with a housing issue, touching over two million of lives nationally every year.
Elizabeth Menshikova, Online News Editor