Wincheap HMOs and the city’s dependence on universities.

Canterbury City is too small to support 2 full size uni’s- the proportion of students to residents skews everything, shops, entertainment and especially community and housing.

Right from UKC’s inception no thought was given to the effects on housing of student numbers expanding, made worse when CCCollege became CCCU. Only in the last few years has an effort been made to build more student housing. Too late for those of us doomed to live in HMO areas (Wincheap in our case). Over 40 years thanks to ‘council house buy to let’ tenants of social housing paid for by the City, have cashed in and streets of family houses (eg Oxford Rd,) are now students HMO’s, and similarly Victorian housing (eg Martyrs Field) has been bought up cheaply and rented out as HMO’s. It is a fallacy that these houses support local builders and tradesmen; most skilled tradesmen never work for the owners of HMO’s as the latter will not pay skilled rates; owner occupied houses would actually offer more work than HMO’s.
As for contribution to the community, most students have no roots here, never join in local events or barely acknowlege local people.
Why should the City have to have such a duplication of University activities ? The city is now almost totally dependent on Higher Education, not a healthy balance of ‘industries’
Canterbury City Council also seems to favour students over  local people.
We all know the transport problems, parking etc.
Pete Sudell (Wincheap)
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