Geography

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Research into changing student housing trends is transforming policy and legislation across the UK, USA and Australia
Research into changing student housing trends is transforming policy and legislation across the UK, USA and Australia

Housing Multiple Occupation

  • Influencing national housing policy and legislation

Images: Andrew Weekes Photography

The expansion of higher education has led to a dramatic increase of student populations in university towns and cities. As a result, there has been a rise in Housing Multiple Occupation (HMO) – often involving the conversion of family housing – causing profound changes to local neighbourhoods.

Research conducted at Loughborough into HMO is improving our understanding of the effects of “studentification” on university towns – and informing national debate, policy and legislation around student accommodation.

Key findings of the research included the need to – on the one hand – integrate students into university towns whilst providing housing in a more strategic way – hence the rise in purpose-built student accommodation in recent years.

The construction of an HMO index by the research team demonstrated that HMO is an issue not only for university towns, but coastal and small market towns as well.

Indeed, the research’s impacts extend beyond the UK and are influencing policy making in Australian and North American university towns too.

Impact

  • Informing planning policy 

    The research informed the new Uses Classes Order for HMO in the UK planning system in 2010

  • Student housing strategy 

    The UK’s first-ever Local Authority Student Housing Strategies were developed using the research findings

  • Growing UK impact 

    Student housing is now recognised as a key dimension of wider housing planning in five UK Regional Housing Strategies

  • Global influence 

    The work is also impacting policy in Australian and North American university towns

  • Linguistic impact 

    The now widely used term “studentification” was coined by the research team