Room crisis as Dundee University to house foreign students and their families in hotels

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Dundee University is planning to house foreign students and their families in hotels for “prolonged” periods of time, it has emerged.

The move follows a shortage of accommodation in the city as the community recovers from the pandemic.

Bosses blame covid and a ‘change in behaviour’ by local landlords for the lack of spaces.

And this week they sent all current students a written plea for help.

The begging email asked for any spare beds or rooms to be made available for the incoming cohort.

It said: “Where we are urgently needing help is in finding accommodation for all of those who may be heading to Dundee, some of whom are traveling with partners or families.

“Partly as a result of the pandemic and a change in behavior among landlords, there is a shortage of accommodation readily available in the city at present.”

And it added: “If all the offer-holders who have indicated they are coming to Dundee do arrive, then we are facing a shortage.

“To mitigate this we have already booked out extra private accommodation in the city and have negotiated reduced rates with several local hotels.

“We are looking at the possibility of offering subsidies for prolonged hotel accommodation should it be needed.”

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A university spokesman said this morning: “We have been hugely successful in attracting students to come to Dundee but, with the local rental market facing greater pressure than ever before and many landlords moving away from student lets, there is a possibility that demand for accommodation will exceed supply.

“We have been working with Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA) and other partners to address this situation since summer 2021 when it became clear that shortages were a possibility.

“We have put in place several measures to mitigate against this, including booking out extra private accommodation in the city and negotiating reduced rates with several local hotels to provide short-term accommodation.

“Many students arrange their own accommodation and do not communicate directly with their university about this matter. This means it is difficult to assess exactly how many students may require assistance at this stage, but we have been in contact with them to offer any help we can give.

“DUSA provides extensive advice and guidance on housing rights which has been promoted to students. Any students offering a room to let are asked to confirm that their landlord will accept a new tenant and provide a tenancy agreement.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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