No affordable houses built in Oxford

Oxford County Council has revealed that not one affordable home was built in Oxford between April 2013 and April 2014. The Council also found that at least 30,000 new homes are needed to address the city’s housing crisis.

Only 70 new homes were built in the period 2013-14. The council has highlighted that the construction dip is a “very short-term one”, as 1,350 homes were granted permission by the planning commission. However at this rate it would take 22 years for the required 30,000 homes to be constructed.

Students at Oxford often have to rent privately in at least one year of their studies, and have been active in housing campaigns. This month’s ‘House of Commons’ protest occupied the University owned Old Power Station to hold a conference about the housing issue.

According to University of Oxford Fees and Funding, typical accommodation costs, regardless of whether provided by the University or private sector, range between £116 and £149 per week (£132.5 per week on average). The University and OUSU compile these numbers after conducting a annual living costs survey.

A study conducted by HSBC in August, which looked at Britain’s 20 highest populated University cities and towns, discovered that the most expensive self-catered accommodation is offered by the University of Oxford, at £137 per week. The cheapest rates are offered by Newcastle (£87), Leicester (£91), and Cardiff (£94).

A spokesperson from the University commented for Cherwell “The University of Oxford provides extensive accommodation for its students: most colleges provide at least two and often three years of accommodation for undergraduates, in contrast to most universities, which provide one. The University is committed to creating more student accommodation to further ease pressure on the local rental market.”

She added “The University and the colleges have made significant investments in providing additional student accommodation over the years. Over 500 additional accommodation places were available at 1 December 2013 compared with the same point in 2012, with a further 200 under construction.”