Manchester City Council has said that there is a lack of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the city compared to the number of students. Statistics from the 18/19 academic year showed there were 90,000 students across five of Greater Manchester’s universities – but only 24,000 PBSA beds. This has been pushing students into the private rented sector.
Manchester City Council is looking to increase the city’s offering of PBSA – so they can attract students out of private renting and into PBSA. It also realises that existing accommodation in suburban areas are no longer suitable because of its facilities and location. As students are exempt from paying council tax, the council is losing revenue from students living in the private rented sector. The council aims to recoup up to £17m in council tax revenue by expanding the city’s offering of PBSA.
From 2010 to 2019, there were only 1,800 PBSA units built in the city centre – out of 6,440 homes. However there are currently two schemes in the pipeline – Unite’s 600-bed building on New Wakefield Street and Downing’s 800-bed development at River Street. The additional PBSA will begin to free up private rented homes.
Manchester City Council are also looking to increase PBSA around the Oxford Road Corridor – which supports the council’s wider regeneration objectives. A report said that the council aims to provide better quality and a more diverse pipeline of PBSA – which is aligned to students’ needs.