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MPS, Councillors & PBSA - Open Letter

Friday 27-03-2020 - 12:16
Helder costa

Your President: Wellbeing Helder Costa, has today issued an open letter to local Sunderland MPs Julie Elliott and City Councillors, along with a further letter to the Management of Sunderlands Leading accomodation providers urging them to consider the current situation students are facing in relation to accomodation for students. 

In his letter, Helder outlined concerns about the potential impact that the Covid-19 outbreak is having for our students. 

Helder says: 

To MPs "In light of the latest events surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic, I feel that I must write to you to bring to your attention an issue that I believe must be addressed by both our Government and our local leaders. The Student Accommodation Sector is fragmented in its approach to Covid-19 and has not come together to adequately support students.  Some are reacting with best practice of allowing students to terminate their contracts.  To this moment, students have been leaving their flats and seeking support amongst their families at their native homes. This, therefore, has a massive financial impact on students upon their return where best practice is not being presented".

To PBSA "We would like to ask your support in refunding students who have fled Sunderland to return home of their accommodation fees for the next term. We also ask for your help in ensuring that those students whom have chosen to stay or been forced to stay by travel restrictions, are supported adequately during these difficult times. Many of these students are alone and they need our support".

The letter goes on to urge the local MP and Councillors (who represent a large number of students studying at the University) to take action saying:

"On behalf of our Executive team, and all of our students, we urge you to do your very best in supporting us and lobbying the accommodation providers to allow our students to surrender their tenancies with immediate effect"

The letter goes on to urge the local management of the student accomodations to help our students:

"We urge you to allow students to terminate their contracts for the rest of the academic year, allowing them to travel home without penalty.  This is a step Sunderland University have already taken with those students in Halls and we would urge you to follow in their good example and the example set by other private providers across the country". 

Open letter to Julie Elliott MP, and City Councillors

 

"Dear Julie Elliot MP and City Councillors,

 

In light of the latest events surrounding the Covid-19 Pandemic, I feel that I must write to you to bring to your attention an issue that I believe must be addressed by both our Government and our local leaders. The Student Accommodation Sector is fragmented in its approach to Covid-19 and has not come together to adequately support students.  Some are reacting with best practice of allowing students to terminate their contracts.  To this moment, students have been leaving their flats and seeking support amongst their families at their native homes. This, therefore, has a massive financial impact on students upon their return where best practice is not being presented.

 

Sunderland University is, mostly, a widening participation University whose student body is especially exposed to financial and family pressures. This is the time that we must come together, as a community, to support one another is such uncertain times.

 

We understand the economic impact that the Covid-19 will have for the nation, and we understand that the Government has done a lot in banning evictions for the next three months, however, even three months down the line, students will not be able to pay the accumulated rents. Students are, by nature, an economically vulnerable group and we are asking for your support in lobbying the accommodation providers, both companies and private landlords, to allow our students to terminate their contracts and return to their families without this concern over their heads.

 

On behalf of our Executive team, and all of our students, we urge you to do your very best in supporting us and lobbying the accommodation providers to allow our students to surrender their tenancies with immediate effect.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Helder Costa, BA (Hons)

President: Wellbeing, University of Sunderland Students' Union"

Open letter to Management of Sunderland leading student accommodation providers.

"Dear Management of Sunderland leading student accommodation providers,

I am writing to you on behalf of the University of Sunderland Students whom are tenants of your properties.

As you know, the world is currently being affected by the terrible pandemic that has impacted our economy hugely. Our University has closed its campuses and moved all teaching and assessments online. Our students are terrified and lost in a city that in many cases is not their home. As such, many of our students have left or are leaving their student accommodation and returning to their native homes to be with and support their families.

As students of Sunderland, we are proud to be a key part of this city's culture and economy.  We are proud of being a key part of supporting the city and be an engine of change and innovation. But today, like everyone, we are scared and want to go home. We want to go home with a clear mind and no fear. We want to go home and have a safe place to come back to.

We just want to go home.

We would like to ask your support in refunding students who have fled Sunderland to return home of their accommodation fees for the next term. We also ask for your help in ensuring that those students whom have chosen to stay or been forced to stay by travel restrictions, are supported adequately during these difficult times. Many of these students are alone and they need our support.

We urge you to allow students to terminate their contracts for the rest of the academic year, allowing them to travel home without penalty.  This is a step Sunderland University have already taken with those students in Halls and we would urge you to follow in their good example and the example set by other private providers across the country.

As the community comes together, as our nurses leave University to support our city, we ask you to support us. On behalf of our students, we urge you to show your support so that we may one day take shelter in Sunderland again.

Yours sincerely

 

Helder Costa, BA (Hons)

President: Wellbeing, University of Sunderland Students' Union"

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