The university has announced a £4 billion partnership with multi national financial services company Legal and General, who manage around £1tn worldwide, to redevelop 5 sites around Oxford. 

It is the most recent and ambitious attempt by the university to tackle the problem of unaffordable housing for staff members. The homes will be offered at 3 year leases, at no more than 80% of the market rate. 

The agreement will see the university co-design housing projects with Legal and General in Jericho, Summertown, Iffley, Osney Mead and Begbroke. 

At Begbroke, near Kiddlington, 2000 homes will be built on green belt land.

A University spokesperson told Cherwell: “The District Council has proposed that this land be removed from the Green Belt and designated for development. We support this proposal and would want to make the best possible use of the land for new housing and employment.

“The new housing will support our junior members of staff and in turn ease the burden on Oxford’s rental market, and the science park will provide high-quality local jobs and contribute to the regional economy.

“It will be a requirement of any planning permission that our staff housing will be rented at 80% or less of the market rate.  Our aim is for it to be as affordable as possible for our staff, so if we can get below 80% we will do so.”

The development in Iffley is expected to consist of student housing, with the aim of offering every new student accommodation. 

David Prout, University Pro-Vice Chancellor for Planning and Resources, said: “There are many issues to consider but fundamentally, they want good quality, affordable homes within touching distance of the city centre.

“At the moment working in Oxford is a bit like working in London in that people have to travel in from all over. We want to do what we can to make life a bit better for our staff”.

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal and General, said: “Our partnership with Oxford University is leading the way in bringing together dynamic cities and patient capital, creating great outcomes for long-term investors and for the cities themselves.”

The plan now awaits approval from the government. 

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