Your student years are a golden opportunity to learn and have fun without the pressures of a full time job or family. It’s a time when you make important decisions about who you want to be and what you want to do. But to make those decisions wisely, you need to make sure your basic needs are met and if, for some reason, you should find yourself without accommodation then this can severely impede your studies, your mental health and your general wellbeing. In fact, an increasing number of students (particularly in london) are finding themselves without permanent accommodation and having to resort to couchsurfing and emergency accommodation.
There are many reasons why undergraduates may find their housing situation compromised. Perhaps a roommate needs to move out suddenly and unexpectedly or perhaps a landlord increases the rent beyond your price range. While this can be an incredibly stressful time, undergraduates should be aware that there are ways to find themselves affordable accommodation quickly, easily and without paying over the odds. While many of your obliging friends may be all too willing to let you crash on their sofa in the short term, this is far from sustainable. Here are some of the options available to you…
The charity Shelter offer a host of support and advice to those who are facing the possibility of homelessness, with specific support available for students. If you’re looking for a starting point then they can put you in touch with local schemes and accommodation providers in your area as well as helping you into emergency accommodation if you’re struggling to find shelter for the night.
Disco classics aside, the YMCA is another dedicated charity devoted to helping young people find temporary and long term accommodation. They home on average 18,000 people a year across England and Wales through a combination of emergency housing, supported hostels and foyers, hotels and hostels and supported lodgings. If your number one priority is finding a bed for the short term then they can be invaluable in helping you get back on your feet.
Homestay combines the benefits of a B’n’B with the flexibility of a hostel. Homestay is an initiative that works with host families to bring you a room with optional meals. If you’re missing the family home or want to go a few weeks without having to cook then Homestay may be the right option for you. You can book Homestay accommodation at relatively short notice and payment is made weekly, making it best suited to those looking for a flexible short-term solution.
Just as courses are often readily available at short notice when universities need to allocate places on courses quickly, so too can rooms in student accommodation be negotiated at a reduced cost. You’d be surprised at how much available accommodation is out there so long as you’re flexible in your expectations. While secure doors, a working shower, heating and a functional smoke alarm are perfectly reasonable expectations you shouldn’t go into accommodation clearing expecting a prime location a few yards away from your campus.