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.
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
The work is also impacting policy in Australian and North American university towns
The now widely used term “studentification” was coined by the research team