Cost of living crisis: Two thirds of students struggling to afford accommodation

A study has revealed the worrying affect of the cost of living crisis on students.

New research has revealed that the majority of university students are struggling to pay the bills and there is a real fear a proportion could become homeless.

A survey by Nationwide Building Society shows that two-thirds of students (66%) are now struggling to afford their housing costs or are currently behind on their rent.

This has resulted in almost three-quarters (73%) having to borrow funds from family members to pay for essentials such as food and housing costs.

The study has also found that 15% of university students are worried that they could become homeless within the next six months due to spiralling costs.

“It’s really concerning that so many students, many of whom are very young people who are starting out on their adult life, are struggling and worried,” says Deborah Garvie, policy manager at housing and homelessness charity Shelter. 

“And to see that two thirds of students are saying that the worry of paying for the house and costs is affecting their experience at university.

“Because so many families are struggling at the moment ... it might be difficult to get some support. And obviously some students don’t have any family.

“I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get early advice because the sooner you get advice, then it usually gives you more scope into what to do about it. So don’t put it off even though it might seem overwhelming.”

Record inflation and cost of living crisises

Escalating bills, rent increases and price rises are forcing many people towards finincial hardship.

UK inflation has risen above 10% for the first time in 40 years and the Bank of England has warned we may see it hit 13.3% in October 2023. Other experts are forecasting inflation could go as high as 15% by the start of 2023.

Since March, household incomes have been further battered by the cost of living crisis. As a result, Shelter is calling for the Government to intervene to prevent a steep rise in homelessness.

Kevin Mountford, Savings and Finance Expert, said: “One of the core problems of inflation is around supply and demand. So, without getting too complicated, when we came out of the pandemic, there was a shortage of supply of goods, and subsequently, this pent-up frustration we want to buy more and travel more et cetera. On top of that, we’ve seen a global increase and a huge increase in energy prices.

Unfortunately, terrible events ongoing in Ukraine only made this even worse, so it’s a difficult situation, but equally, at times of crisis, we tend to be a bit more risk averse we still like to save cash. We saw this during the pandemic research from Raisin showed that we saved far more than we did pre pandemic.”