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Malia Bouattia offers support to UCL rent strikers

NUS President Malia Bouattia offered formal support to campaigners from UCL, Cut The Rent on behalf of the NUS, and urged more students to join the strike.

In a statement published today, she said she would be putting together resources to provide practical and legal support for the strike, and would also write to UCL management regarding their demands.

She said: “In previous decades, many other campuses have used rent strikes and won: Birmingham, Sussex and Warwick to name a few. As a movement facing a cost of living crisis, we can learn from their actions and take inspiration from them.

“Having exhausted other tactics, the students on rent strike today are withholding their payments collectively, and the more student tenants who join them, the stronger the chances of winning.”

Read: 2 strikes and you’re out – Rent strikes, social cleansing, and living unapologetic

NUS policy on affordable rent mandates that universities keep 25% of all bed-spaces below 50% of the maximum available student finance.

At UCL, such a policy would mean keeping more than 1250 rooms below £136 per week; currently UCL maintains approximately 660 rooms at this price.

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Emma Yeomans

Classics student at UCL; news fangirl at London Student. Student Publication Association's Best Reporter 2016.