Minister vows to tackle late student accommodation builds
Universities minister Chris Skidmore has promised to address the problem of unfinished student housing, after it emerged that hundreds of undergraduates have been forced to seek alternative accommodation at the beginning of the new academic year.
There are 22 private student blocks across the UK that have been delayed this term, which amounts to almost a third of all those currently being constructed, according to a report by the BBC quoting student housing charity Unipol.
Some developers have reportedly blamed their building contractors for the delays.
The higher-education regulator, the Office for Students, doesn’t have the power to regulate private accommodation providers.
Now Skidmore has called a summit to look at the problem, promising to meet representatives from private developers.
Commenting on the news of the delayed accommodation, Skidmore said: “Responsibility for decent, fair and affordable student accommodation cannot fall through the cracks- with student numbers soon to rise, I’m determined that its effective provision must be a central issue in Higher Education.
“Student accommodation providers who have failed to complete projects on time and provide adequate alternative provision need to be held accountable. The point is that the wider system of student accommodation needs fixing too if we are serious about student welfare.”