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Students & Community

National HMO Lobby



Tackling Causes, Tackling Effects
Dr Richard Tyler
Norwich City Council & University of East Anglia, Studentification: the next steps
Norwich, 19 June 2007

Causes & Effects

NB NOT students in the community, BUT students in stead of the community.
“If the great majority of the population changes from one year to the next, the number of settled, long-term residents is too few to sustain, try as people will, the community organisations and sense of neighbourhood – the social capital, as it is called in the academic jargon – that make our communities work,” John Denham MP, House of Commons, 5 June 2007

• National HMO Lobby: “the substitution of a local community by a student community” (‘Studentification: Discussion Document’, website, 2004).

• Darren Smith: “the replacement and/or displacement of established residents with a transient, generally young and single, social grouping” (Studentification: Guide, UUK, 2006).

(A particular instance of a general phenomenon – studentification < homogenisation < polarisation.)


Causes & Effects

Darren Smith: “There are four dimensions to the process – social, cultural, physical, economic” (Studentification: Guide, UUK, 2006).
• this describes, but it doesn’t define: what are the relationships between these dimensions?
• the ‘social’ is not just primary, it is the fundamental factor, the cause;
• the other dimensions are consequent upon the ‘social’, the effects.

Hence, cause: student demand › distorted housing market › demographic imbalance.


Causes & Effects

Demographic imbalance › a double whammy.
• decline of community
- imbalance undermines social networks, social norms, social sanctions
- reduces capacity to cope with problems
• rise of problems
- transience undermines neighbourliness
- social, environmental, economic (together, ‘cultural’) problems increase

Tackling Effects

• Social: antisocial behaviour, crime.

• Environmental: squalor, dereliction, street blight, carparking.

• Economic: distorted retail, fluctuating market, casualised employment.

• Generic: some services overwhelmed (cleansing, policing, housing, planning),
others underwhelmed (schools).

Tackling Effects

Twofold tactics: persuasion and coercion (students themselves, student services)

• Social: campaigns (codes, promotions), interventions (wardens, policing).
• Environmental: campaigns (waste, recycling), interventions (prosecution).
• Economic: campaigns (good practice), interventions (policies).

• Generic:- persuasion: Community Code (Say hello, keep the peace, clean up)
- coercion: Discipline (visibility, co-ordination, expedition, escalation, credibility).

Tackling Effects

• Volatility: extreme mobility of student populations.

• Different Agendas: short-term or long-term?

• The Groundhog Effect: changing student population, changing student leadership.

Tackling Causes

• Higher Education Institutions: student expansion.
• Private Rented Sector: housing provision.
• Local Authorities: lack of constraint.

• Hence, Demographic Imbalance: incursion of student houses - flight of residents - collapse of community.

• Tipping point: 20% population, 10% properties.


Tackling Causes

Ten Point Plan
• Accommodation Audit,
• Co-ordination,
• Action Plan;
• Mandatory HMO Licensing,
• Additional HMO Licensing,
• Restoration Strategy;
• Areas of Restraint,
• Threshold Policy,
• Purpose Built Development,
• Use Classes Order.

Tackling Causes

• Destudentification
- vacant properties: disposal?
- new residents: affordability?
• Internal Migration
- studentification, in some areas
- destudentification, in others


Richard Tyler, ‘Comprehending Community’ in S Herbrechter & M Higgins, eds, Returning to Communities, Amsterdam, 2006
National HMO Lobby, Balanced Communities <>
National HMO Lobby, Studentification <>
National HMO Lobby, Symptoms of Studentification <>
National HMO Lobby, Ten Point Plan <>
Darren Smith, Studentification: A Guide, Universities UK, 2006
NUS, Students in the Community, 2007


Thanks to –
National HMO Lobby
Leeds City Council
Universities UK, University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University
National Union of Students, Leeds University Union, LMU Students Union
Unipol Student Homes, Leeds Property Association
Dr Darren Smith
- for opposition and/or support!


National HMO Lobby
email: website: