‘I can’t afford my student housing during lockdown, so I’m striking’
Tomasz Jabłonśki is one of around 200 tenants on a rent strike in his student accommodation building
I was working in a pub before the coronavirus outbreak, which was enough to cover my rent at Dinwiddy House in King’s Cross during my first year studying social anthropology at Soas University of London. I was also getting some money from my family back in Poland, to help with food and other basics. But I was put on furlough when the coronavirus lockdown started at the end of March, and I returned home.
I rented from the student housing company Sanctuary Students, who are demanding that I pay during lockdown, even though I don’t use the facilities and left the room completely empty, and also won’t be back in the UK until about January next year because my course is going to be online. This is a time when other housing providers have offered students a pass on this term’s rent, and I strongly believe this is what Sanctuary Students should do too. So, along with around 200 other students, I joined a rent strike.