Statement: UCL and rent campaign
26 January 2016
"UCL Estates is actively seeking dialogue with the Cut the Rent campaign so that we can discuss the issues and set out how the finances of UCL accommodation work.
"While we understand the concerns around the cost of accommodation in London, it is inaccurate to suggest that UCL is making a profit for the university. All of the money that UCL receives in rent is ploughed back into residences. While the proportions may vary year to year, we invariably spend more on residences than we receive in rental income. The document linked to below includes an FOI response that sets out the sums involved for the five years ended July 2014.
"We make every effort at UCL to keep rents as low as possible, which is a difficult challenge considering our central London location. Our rents are competitive in comparison with equivalent London institutions, and far less than rates for comparable accommodation in the private sector.
accommodation costs survey recognises UCL's efforts
in this regard, and acknowledges the university's commitment to keeping a
significant proportion of its accommodation in the lowest cost band of £120-150
Update - 4 February 2016
At a meeting held last night (3rd February) at Max Rayne House, UCL Estates senior management met with students to discuss issues raised around affordability of student accommodation at UCL and in London.
It was agreed by all that this is a serious concern, and UCL Estates have undertaken to make time to meet on an ongoing basis with representatives of the Cut the Rent campaign in a bid to resolve some of the issues raised. While it was made clear that the campaign's demand for a 40% rent cut cannot be accepted, UCL does wish to explore ways in which it might be possible to mitigate financial pressures on students resulting from housing costs in London.