Durham students driven to queuing overnight on the street again amidst housing crisis

Students have been queuing since 6.30pm and expect to be there at least fifteen hours

Tonight, students from Durham University have been driven to queue overnight on the streets again in order to secure housing for next year.

Students began queueing at 6.30pm outside Harrington’s estate agents, and by 10.40pm there were close to one hundred students lining New Elvet, opposite the DSU.

After witnessing the campout on Monday, students came prepared with blankets, thermos flasks, chairs and food supplies. A group of students told The Tab Durham that they had parked a car around the corner so that they could take it in turns to sleep there.

Another group told The Tab Durham that they were being regularly supplied with food and hot drinks by a group of fourth years who lived nearby.

Students were queuing with laptops, with one student telling The Tab Durham that he was doing prep work for his lab class in the morning.

Speaking to The Tab Durham, two first year students said how “frightened” they were, going on to say: “There are no houses online, everywhere says that you have to queue, you won’t get a house, it’s final releases, and if you don’t sign, you’ll be living in Newcastle. We’ve been in contact with private landlords and they’re fully gone. The only places left are estate agents.

“No one else has any other advice for us”.

One second year group of students told The Tab Durham that they were leaving the queue as they had heard that Harrington’s would be releasing the properties online at 8am in the morning, making queuing overnight redundant. This has not been confirmed by any formal communication from Harrington’s, so other students said were willing to wait overnight just in case.

Another student told The Tab Durham that they were being priced out of Durham housing: “The prices are absolutely extortionate. Students are desperate and therefore can be taken advantage of. Genuinely not a single house in my budget”. This student’s budget was £165, would would have been classed as at the top end of the market just last year.

It is the second time this week that students have decided to queue outside an estate agents in order to sign a house for the next academic year. On Monday, students queued from 2am to 9am in the hopes of signing a property.

Tonight, they will be queuing for at least fifteen hours until Harrington’s opens at 9am on Monday morning.

Harrington’s have been contacted for comment.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

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

15 things that are easier to do than signing a student house in Durham

 A Durham Uni student says their rent is going up over £1,000 next year