I BELIEVE the houses of multiple occupancy policy will be pushing students out of the city centre.
The city council adopted a new policy in March which limits the number of houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) to 10 per cent of properties in any area.
As a union, and in my own opinion, we believe that students should be close to where they go to university.
The students enrich Portsmouth as a community and as a city.
They do a great number of things, from volunteering in pensioners’ homes to doing beach cleans in the community.
The students bring countless things, the first one is a mix of cultures.
I’m a big believer in multiculturalism so when we get international students from China and Africa, the Middle East, that’s how we get a rich diverse group of students. Secondly, economically in Portsmouth students spend a lot when they come here, in Gunwharf Quays, in the cinema – all over.
The problem with the policy is that students were not fully consulted with at all in Portsmouth and they should have been. Students are community members but only a small proportion of people were asked about it.
The HMO policy will push students away from the city centre and importantly, student accommodation has helped regenerate areas that need help,
New students especially may be pushed away from coming to Portsmouth and the problem is that internationally people say students can live in the actual city then they may not want to come. It will be a big problem not only for the university but for the community too: students contribute to Portsmouth’s economy and culture.