Downing joins Cut the Rent campaign

Beatrice McCartney 19 February 2018

Downing is the latest college to launch a Cut the Rent campaign, joining Murray Edwards, Magdalene and Robinson who have been campaigning since last term.

The Cut the Rent petition, created by the college JCR, urges Downing students to sign it. The petition points to the findings of a recent TCS investigation into room rents which revealed that Downing is the most expensive college for accommodation. In light of this, the JCR has argued that whilst their rooms are of a high quality, the pricing of the accommodation presents an issue with access for the college.

The petition outlines their demand for a 20% decrease in rent, in order to aid current students and encourage students from low income backgrounds to attend Downing. The JCR aims to successfully complete the campaign within the next few weeks, before the room ballot for 2018/19 takes place.

The petition points out that Downing’s lowest room rent is £116 a week, which is higher than Homerton’s highest band, as well as the fact that Medwards and Robinson have similar rent prices and have already begun rent campaigns.

Downing comes last out of all the colleges in the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) access ratio, and 41% of Downing students are privately educated. The JCR suggests that the high rents are affecting applications, and hope that cutting the rent will improve access to the college. 

TCS has contacted Downing welfare officer, who posted the petition to Facebook, for comment.