My Department has recently published research entitled ‘Evidence Gathering: Housing in Multiple Occupation and possible planning responses - Final Report'. This independent research sets out a series of cross cutting measures that could address the effects that concentrations of houses in multiple occupation (particularly those occupied by students) can have on local communities. These measures include new planning mechanisms and the widespread adoption of a number of the best common sense local solutions by local authorities and the universities. We are currently considering how best to take forward these recommendations.
Local authorities already have a range of powers to help them tackle the effects of concentrations of houses in multiple occupation and there is much evidence of good practice in this area. In January 2006 the Education Minister launched the Dfes funded Universities UK Guide ‘Studentification: a guide to opportunities, challenges and practice' which offered a toolkit for assessing and addressing the barriers to good community relationships between established residents and students in towns and cities. The guide stresses that the complex issues of ‘studentification' need joint working between all agencies and the community.