• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

New figures underscore dire state of student housing crisis in Edinburgh

ByJoe Sullivan

Feb 6, 2023
A man in a white tee shirt sat on a low wall, speaking to a man in a red sweatshirt stood next to him.

New figures reveal the extent of the student housing crisis and the dissatisfaction felt by students at the University of Edinburgh’s response.

Figures collected by Slurp, a student-led organisation which focuses on issues of housing security, reveal that 21.1 per cent of non-first year undergraduate students surveyed started semester one without having signed a tenancy agreement.

Over a third of those students were still without permanent accommodation by week 5.

Slurp also found that 24.7 per cent of non-first year undergraduate students surveyed attempted to contact the University of Edinburgh for support, with 60 per cent of them feeling dissatisfied with the help they were offered.

The survey conducted by Slurp was part of a broader effort to highlight the difficulties faced by students across Edinburgh, concerning housing and the cost-of-living crisis.

Personal testimonies emphasise the impact this has had on students’ mental health and the ability to keep up with their studies.

Students noted the amount of time spent trying to find somewhere to live during the semester, the time spent commuting from other places, and the stresses of houselessness and repeatedly moving.

Furthermore, one student recounted how the University of Edinburgh refused their request to follow their course from home while they were without accommodation, giving them the choice between missing classes or suspending their studies altogether.

Looking to the future, the survey asked participants about finding accommodation in the following academic year.

By November 2022, 50 per cent of respondents had already started making plans, and 80 per cent reported being worried about where they would live, a year in advance.

Slurp conducted the investigation to raise awareness of the housing crisis and demonstrate that the help made available by the university is insufficient to tackle the problem.

They say that the university could and should be doing more to help, and that they are not meeting the responsibility they have to their students.

Slurp is a student-led, voluntary organisation that focuses on the housing crisis, cost of living crisis and the wider issues of homelessness.

The group offers help to unhoused people across Edinburgh, supplying meals at three locations across Edinburgh and collaborating with the Bethany Christian Trust, Simon Community’s Streetwork, and The Salvation Army.

Further, the group conducts rough sleeper counts, issues hot water bottles, and runs fundraising events.

The full results of Slurp’s survey will be published throughout the following weeks on the organisation’s Instagram page (@slurp_edinburgh), as well as being sent directly to the University of Edinburgh to raise the issue of the need for greater support.

Slurp are also looking for student volunteers to join their society and the effort to make a difference in Edinburgh to those experiencing homelessness and address the difficulties faced by students.

Slurp website: https://www.slurp-edinburgh.org/
Slurp Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slurp_edinburgh/

Image provided to The Student as press material.

By Joe Sullivan

Hey there, I'm Joe! I'm The Student's Editor-in-Chief. I love reporting on local happenings here in Edinburgh, and am always looking for tips on what the paper should be looking in to or covering. If you'd like to tip me - or if you'd like to chat otherwise - I can be found at... Text, Phone, WhatsApp, Signal - 07876 154619 Twitter - @_josephsullivan Instagram - @joe92743 Secure email is available on request.