Published on May 16, 2014 | by Karina Starobina

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New Camberwell student housing

UAL is proposing to build over 250 bed student accommodation at Camberwell College to be ready by the summer of 2016. There could also be a new reception, canteen and two new lecture theatres.

Thanks to non-privatised student housing, rent for students stays low at new building sites [Flickr: lamtheo]

Student Union managed to get UAL to commit to the student accommodation not to be privatised, which is likely to help to keep the rent low.

Shelly Asquith, the President of the Student Union, told Arts London News: “All of our campaign this year has been about ‘Arts for All’ and how to make the  university financially more accessible, and one of the main thing about that had been housing. When I was in my first year it cost 83 pounds a week to live in students hall, now the same room, the same hall is 130 pounds a week!”

“So that’s a 54 per cent increase. And that’s largely due to University privitasing their halls. So what they did in the back of that campaign is committing buildings in Camberwell which are not going to privatised and the rooms are gonna be let out at the minimum price that they can,  without making profit. Which I think is a really good start! What we are pushing for now is the cheapest rents possible, certainly not profit-making and possibly subsidised.

“Students are victim to a housing crisis in this city, and it is about time the University saw itself as an institution with a duty of care, rather than a commercial interest. The project will provide hundreds of rooms and is very welcome move at a time when our halls are very  oversubscribed. These halls have the potential to mark a change in strategy for UAL Housing.”

Construction could begin by the developer Hollybrook Ltd at the end of the year if planning approval is granted allowing for an 18-month build and be completed by summer 2016. The student accommodation could also include a common room, secure bike shed and learning zone.

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