Why students will always be a part of Smithdown
You can take our lives but you’ll never take our Brookie
Picture this. You're on the 699 on your way home, and you get a 'ping' on your phone that says "Brookie tonight?" Puffer jacket on, off you all head.
But all of this could begin to change, as new legislation, as put forward by Liverpool City Council, could mean that student houses in beloved Smithdown are a thing of the past.
The new legislation now means that houses of multiple occupancy, or HMOs, with five bedrooms or more whose occupants bear no relation to one another now have to have a licence to rent. This concept will drive students into other areas of the city, such as the city centre or Kensington. It aims to prevent further student developments being built in the area.
What will Smithdown become without students? Businesses such as the Brookhouse get most of their business from students popping in for 'one pint'. Without it, some may face closure.
There is also the huge implication for students. While living closer to campus may provide a sense of ease to university life, the impact is far greater. One of the biggest issues is cost, it's not as simple as just telling students to move elsewhere. The cost of living on campus is rising, as shown by Liverpool Guild of Student's 'Cut the Rents', exposing the excessive prices of student accommodation.
One student said "I feel as if I'm being alienated from the possibility of affordable living and the chance to live as part of a wider community".
Another remarks "It'a an elitist attitude towards living, those who can afford to live in the city take the space and those who cannot are forced to struggle in unsafe accommodation. It's not right"
Not to mention that this new law only applies to houses over five bedrooms, meaning those under can still avoid the licence, making students still present in the area.
Living amongst students can be hard, with anti-social behaviour an ever prevalent problem, as well as littering and high levels of noise. But it is important to remember that not every student behaves inappropriately, and the actions of the few should not impede on the majority.
Students will always be a part of Smithdown, with our student halls still being based here. We just need to find a way to live more harmoniously with our non-student residents, and as students we should all make an effort to be better occupants, so that everyone can have an all round better living experience.