Leeds HMO Lobby
What is a HMO?
Studentification in Leeds
Use Classes Order
Students & Community
National HMO Lobby
Leeds HMO Lobby
Student Accommodation & Affordable
1 Student Housing Demand Despite their economic
benefits, the presence of two large universities in Leeds places
a significant burden on the city's housing stock.
1.1 The great majority of students requiring accommodation
in Leeds find it through the conversion of family homes into shared
houses. Thus, several thousand houses, which could be primary residential
homes, instead become seasonal second homes for students. These
houses are thereby lost to the general housing market for residents,
reducing the affordability and availability of those which are left.
1.2 Furthermore, student demand is focussed on
a small part of the city, Inner NW Leeds. Not only are family houses
in this area lost in very high numbers - but also the high demand
inflates housing prices, making properties both unavailable and
2 Student Housing Supply Most students in Leeds
are accommodated in converted shared houses. Some are accommodated
in purpose-built developments.
2.1 In general, purpose-built development reduces
the pressure for conversion of existing stock, from residential
to student housing. In principle, purpose-built developments for
students should be encouraged as a contribution to housing provision
2.2 However, this is not necessarily the case in
the high-demand area of Inner NW Leeds. Experience shows that purpose-built
developments attract conversion of houses in the vicinity. At best
therefore purpose-built developments leave the demographic imbalance
of the area un-touched (students simply move sideways into the purpose-built
developments). At worst, it aggravates the problem, by increasing
student housing settlement. Purpose-built developments in this area
should therefore be resisted.
3 Student Housing Market The impact of student
accommodation on affordable housing in Leeds justifies intervention
in the housing market by planning policies.
3.1 Policy H15 of the RUDP resists further loss
of residential stock in the Area of Housing Mix in Inner NW Leeds.
Its value is limited until the Use Classes Order relating to HMOs
is amended. Leeds HMO Lobby therefore welcomes the Council's lobbying
3.2 Policy H15A of the RUDP encourages purpose-built
developments outside the Area of Housing Mix, relieving demand for
residential stock. The Lobby regrets that the Policy has not been
more effectively pursued through Area Action Plans, contrary to
the commitment in the Response to the Inspector's Report on the
UDP Review. The Lobby recommends more active promotion of purpose-built
developments, along the lines of Newcastle's Interim Planning
Guidance on Purpose Built Student Accommodation (2007).
3.3 SPG3 on Affordable Housing has a bearing on
the student housing market. Purpose-built development for students
has hitherto been exempt from affordable housing provision. As such,
this encourages purpose-built developments, and the exemption is
in general supported by the Lobby. The Lobby regrets therefore the
withdrawal of this exemption on 6 December 2007, as a discouragement
of purpose-built development - which by its very existence contributes
to affordable housing, by enabling the return of stock from seasonal
housing to the general residential market.
3.4 The Lobby would however support a requirement
for affordable housing from any purpose-built developments approved
within the Area of Housing Mix. This would both discourage further
student housing in an already un-balanced area, and where permitted,
would at least provide affordable housing for settled residents.
3.5 Furthermore, the Lobby recommends that any
purpose-built developments within the Area of Housing Mix are subject
to the condition that the affordable housing is provided off-site
from surplus student houses. This may be from the developer's own
portfolio as a landlord, or by arrangement between the developer
and landlords with surplus properties.
Leeds HMO Lobby, 4 February 2008
Leeds HMO Lobby