New steps to find student homes in Chichester

NEW steps to tackle a shortage of student accommodation in Chichester are being considered, after a warning that demand is ‘distorting’ the city housing market.

A project is being proposed which would see close working between the district council and the University of Chichester which might attract private investment to boost the supply.

A pilot scheme could focus on new development and conversion of non-residential buildings, to reduce pressure on the city’s local housing stock.

The project is one of a wide range of proposals covering a number of council activities which went before its cabinet on Tuesday (March 13).

Final decisions will be made on these later in the year.

A cabinet report said the university was currently able to offer accommodation to only 60 per cent of first-year students, compared to most universities, which provided it for all first years.

Student accommodation provided lucrative business for buy-to-let landlords.

“The houses they purchase tend to be at the lower end of the market in terms of price, and this restricts the supply of affordable homes for young families to purchase,” said the report.

“It also reduces the number of affordable homes for households to rent and has a tendency to increase the average market rent in the area.”