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Daily Record
Daily Record
Alyssa Drysdale

Renfrewshire students are struggling to pay rent during of cost-of-living crisis

Students are facing sofa-surfing or paying extremely high rent prices during their academic year.

There are concerns that many students could fall onto the brink of homelessness as a result of the skyrocketing cost-of-living.

The National Union of Students (NUS) found that 12 per cent of students had experienced homelessness during the university tenure.

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Gavin Stewart, Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Renfrewshire, said: “As young people are typically lower-income, with many being students completing their studies, they are disproportionately impacted by rent hikes.

“This leads to an unsustainable situation, where young people are driven into poverty due to housing costs, on top of the cost-of-living crisis affecting everyone. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, one-third of tenants in Scotland live in poverty, and nearly half of these were pulled into poverty as a result of housing costs.”

According to research conducted by NUS, the average rent for purpose-built student accommodation in Scotland was £6,853 in 2021/2022 - a 34 per cent increase over the last three years.

Students are being pushed into poverty while trying to finish their studies as they balance high rent prices as well as increase in prices for food and other basic necessities.

A survey conducted by NUS earlier this year also found that eight per cent of students are relying on food banks in order for them to get by.

Gavin hopes the government will step up and help students complete their studies in relative financial comfort.

He added: “At the most recent national sitting of the Scottish Youth Parliament, I passed a motion setting out SYP’s support for a system of points-based rent controls and enhanced tenants’ rights, and it passed with 84 per cent agreement.

“So, whilst the government has committed to introducing rent controls, the Scottish Youth Parliament believes that the can must not be kicked down the road and that these should be introduced as a matter of urgency, that it should be a points-based system dependent on a properties’ quality rather than solely on market value, and that improved access to justice for tenants’ must be included.”

If you are struggling to pay your rent, seek advice from Citizens Advice Scotland by visiting their website

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