Durham students left to sleep on the streets overnight to sign houses during housing crisis

People started queuing at 12.30am

Last night Durham students were left to sleep on the street in a race to sign contracts as estate agents, Frampton and Roebuck, suddenly released their housing for the next year.

Anxious students were forced to wait for up to nine hours last night, desperate to find accommodation for next year.

The lack of student houses available meant that by 7.30am, there were “a couple hundred people” gathered outside, according to one student in the queue.

Some had joined the queue straight from a night out clubbing, whilst others were reportedly sitting with their laptops doing uni work throughout the night. All clubs in Durham close by 2am.

The huge number of people desperately waiting to secure housing forced the estate agents to open at 8am, an hour earlier than expected. Despite this, some students say they were still waiting up to three hours before they could eventually speak to someone.

One group of students, who joined the queue at 7am and were finally seen at 9.40am, only managed to get their fourth choice of house. They also had to sign a seven bedroom house, when there were only six of them.

The streets were so chaotic that students were signing housing contracts against the windows of nearby shops, and many hadn’t even had the chance to view the houses that they had signed. Students were reported to be knocking on the houses for their first viewings after they had signed them.

This news follows huge price increases for student rent, as well as the record-breaking oversubscription of places made by the university.

Posts on Overheard at Durham Uni and Durfess report students being unable to find or afford housing. In a post, one student says they were told by a landlord that the house he had agreed to sign was no longer available, after another student had offered twice the asking price. The house was in Gilesgate Moor, which is two miles away from the university campus, taking more than a 40 minute walk, a nine minute car ride, or a nineteen minute bus.

More to follow soon…

Frampton Roebuck have been contacted for comment.

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