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7 FEBRUARY 2004 

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when the momentum that led to the formation of the NAG began to build up. A lot of what happened came about almost by accident rather than intent, with contacts being established between people who, as a rule, one would not have expected to meet up, but who did. 

By pooling their resources they set up the circumstances that brought together a diverse group of individuals from very different neighbourhoods in Nottingham who had in common the same sort of concerns about the erosion of those neighbourhoods by large numbers of shared houses (HMOs as we since learned to call them). 

No doubt, opinions will vary as to exactly when that momentum became sufficient to trigger the formation of the NAG. In February 2003 Nottingham University hosted the launch of a report commissioned by the City's Area 4 Committee on the effects of what we now call 'studentification'. That launch brought together some of the people who helped to bring about the NAG. A meeting with Alan Simpson MP followed on the 14 August 2003. Although it had been arranged at relatively short notice, more than 70 people came together at the then Western Club. However, the meeting on the 18 November, 2003 of the QMC Forum is the event that finally triggered the formal constitution of the NAG a few months later (NotesSpecialQMCForumPublicMeetingNovember2003.pdf ).

I've done some hunting around in the NAG's archives (NAG Magazine Issues 2009: NAG Magazine (TransNAG), and I've come up with two articles in the Evening Post, one by Joanna Kowalski reporting that QMC Forum meeting, and one written by Guy Woodford about the inaugural meeting of the Nottingham Action Group on 7 February, 2004. Together, they begin to set the scene for what has come about since.



Against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic, the widespread problems experienced by residents as students  returned to collect the belongings they left behind when lockdown began in March, heightened residents' concerns about the impact on them and their families, friends and neighbours when students return for the beginning of the new academic year 2020-2021.

The Coronavirus 2020 page of this website is a rolling commentary on actions and reactions, national (some international) as well as in Nottingham, to those concerns. They are precised here. The NewsDesk pages carry articles and links to articles connected to this topic.

Community Concerns About Covid-19 & Higher Education: A Letter From Nottingham Residents

'A Letter Expressing Concerns About the End of the Academic Year 2019-2020 & the New Academic Year 2020-2021' was sent on 28 June 2020 to, amongst others, the Vice-Chancellors and Registrars of Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University, MPs for the Nottingham South and Nottingham East Constituencies, the Leader of Nottingham City Council, the Council's Portfolio Holder for Communities, Ward Councillors, and Nottinghamshire Police. The letter can be downloaded by following the link to the 'Coronavirus 2020' page of this website. An initial response to this letter from Nottingham University, mailed on 9 August 2020, can also be downloaded from the same page.

SAGE Papers on Higher Education and Covid-19

The NAG is one of around 60 groups which, together, form the National HMO Lobby. One of the Lobby's strengths has always been that its members, by exchanging experiences and information, are able to work together to highlight problems of common concern. By doing so, they support one another and help to give a voice and visibility to people who share their concerns about what is happening in their neighbourhoods, to their families, friends and neighbours.

Papers published by SAGE on Higher Education and Covid-19 highlighted some serious misconceptions about the threat of Covid-19 iin relation to universities. As a result, and with input from members, the Co-ordinator has prepared a response on behalf of the HMO Lobby. This can be read by following the link:

National HMO Lobby Response to SAGE Papers on Higher Education & Covid-19

Correspondence with Professor Michael Otsuka of the London School of Economics,  associated with the HMO Lobby's response resulted in this Twitter thread being posted by Professor Otsuka on Monday 10 August 2020:


On Tuesday 11 August 2020 Professor Otsuka added a link to the National HMO Lobby's response to the SAGE papers:



An HMO is often also known as a 'shared house'. Put as simply as possible, an HMO is a building, or part of a building, occupied as a main residence by more than one household where a 'household' can be one person or several people provided that they are related to one another. So, for example, a home is probably an HMO if 

•three or more unrelated people live there as at least two separate households, and

•the people living there share the same amenities such as a kitchen and/or bathroom.

For more information about HMOs and about legislation relating to HMOs, we suggest you take a look at these websites:



Also, Nottingham City Council publish a regularly up-dated Register of Licensed HMOs, which can be downloaded from the appropriate link in this page: http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/HMO. Scroll to the 'Downloads' section and the register is the last item on the list.


Complaints about licensed HMOs can be made directly by e-mailing:




If you want advice or help relating to the condition and management of your privately rented property

E-Mail: environmental.health@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Telephone: 0115 915-2020 (Option 4)
Write to: Environmental Health, Community Protection, Nottingham City Council, Loxley House,
Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3NG



February 2019 Unipol-NAG (U-NAG) Open Meeting: 'Current Trends & Future Developments in the Student Housing Market'

Notes of this meeting, held on Thursday 21 February 2019, are now available to read and to download when you open this page.


Nottingham City Council Consultation on Proposed Contributions to Affordable Housing from New Purpose Built Student Accommodation

Closing Date for comments is Wednesday 5 August 2020. The recently adopted Local Plan Part 2 makes provision for contributions to be negotiated with PBSA providers for help in meeting the wider affordable housing need of the City.

Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan - Growth Options Consultation

Nottingham City Council has announced that comments can now be submitted on the Growth Options document, the first formal stage in preparing the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan. The deadline for comments is Monday 14 September 2020.



Scotland: University Reopenings & Covid-19 Represent a Risk

On Friday, 7 August 2020, Professor Devi Sridhar (Chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University who advises the Scottish Government on Covid-19) writing in The Scotsman, raised concerns about the impact on Scotland's low prevalence of Covid-19 of the reopening of Scotland's universities, and made some suggestions as to how to tackle the risks.

Covid-19 & University Re-opening: New Scientific Advisory Committee Set Up

Hugo Gye (iNews, Thursday 6 August 2020) reported that a new body has been set up in response to fears that students returning to university is September could spread Covid-19 infections across the UK.

Oxford Professor Fears That Student Arrival on Campus Will Trigger Covid-19 Outbreaks

On Saturday 1 August 2020, Anna Fazackerley (The Guardian) reported that Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education at Oxford, has warned of the inevitability of a surge [of Covid-19] somewhere triggered by a university.

National HMO Lobby Response to SAGE Papers on Higher Education & Covid-19

On Thursday 30 July 2020, the National HMO Lobby published a response to recent SAGE papers on Higher Education and Covid-19 pointing out that the papers significantly underestimate the seriousness of the threat from Covid-19 in Higher Education Institutions to public health and safety.

Covid-19 & the Return of Students: Has Little Attention Been Given to Residents' Concerns?

Camilla Turner (Education Editor, Daily Telegraph, 28 July 2020) reported that residents' groups across the country feel that their concerns about the return of students en masse to their neighbourhoods are being ignored.

Coronavirus: SAGE Paper Looks At Risk of Spread of Covid-19 & University Students' Migration

On Friday 24 July 2020, Sky News, among others, carried an article about a SAGE paper which has looked at the risks [from Covid-19] of reopening schools, colleges and universities in September. With respect to universities the report makes mention of 'A significant movement of over 1 million students across the country, with potential impact on the transmission of the virus, at the beginning and end of terms ...'. SAGE is expected to '... be able to advise on the availability or feasibility of modelling on the potential impact of such a significant level of movement across the country on the potential transmission of the disease. ...'

UK Government Issues Updated Guidance on Covid-19 for University Halls & HMOs

On Monday 20 July 2020 an updated 'Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on isolation for residential educational settings' was published by the UK Government. One section specifically deals with university halls of residence, private PBSA and HMOs.



Covid-19: Nottingham University & Nottingham Trent Students to Commit to 'Covid 19 Community Pledge'

Writing in the Nottingham Post (Wednesday 29 July 2020) under the banner headline 'Nottingham universities reveal plans to shut down student parties when term starts' Community Reporter Gurjeet Nanrah reported on plans by Nottingham's universities to use Community Protection officers to clamp down on behaviour, including parties in residential areas, judged to be a public health risk.

Nottingham University's First Students Return: Masks, No Bars, & Safety Reassurance for Students in the Time of Covid-19

On Monday 27 July 2020, Sean Coughlan, BBC News Family and Education Correspondent filed a story on the return of the first students to Nottingham University and the ways in which the university is reassuring students about safety in the time of Covid-19

Nottingham University's Quiet Overnight Hall of Residence

Gurjeet Nanrah, Nottingham Post Community Reporter posted a report on Thursday 9 July 2020 on Nottingham University setting up Lincoln Hall on University Park as a 'Quieter Hall' where students will not be able to make 'avoidable' noises from 9.00 pm to 8.00 am.



Short Tenure Tenants & Resolving Anti-Social Behaviour Problems: A Reader's Personal Experience

A recent e-mail (Monday 20 July 2020) to the NAG website highlighted the problems arising from, in this instance, the anti-social behaviour of a student tenant.

Unite Submit Planning Application for 690-Bed Student Purpose Build on Derby Road

On Tuesday 21 January 2020, the Unite Group Plc submitted a planning application to Nottingham City Council for permission to site purpose built student accommodation for 690 students on a car showroom site on Derby Road near its junctions with Gregory Street/Radmarsh Road and Triumph Road.

If You Need Help, Advice, Information ...

... or just some-one to talk to, here are the links:

0115 915 5555: (Nottingham City Council number for vulnerable and isolating people who need assistance with groceries, medicine, etc. Calls answered Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.)




Coronavirus update: Apply, SHARE, support; Money help and advice

You can contact the NAG by phone and/or E-mail:

Tel: 07784 881412
(Please leave a brief message and include a return phone number)

E-Mail contact@nottinghamaction.org.uk
(If you do  not get a reply within 24 hours, please try our telephone number)

Take care ♦ Stay safe ♦ Stay well


The Nottingham Action Group on HMOs wishes to thank: Nottingham City Council for funding support; everyone whose contributions (photographs, ideas, articles, work) form part of this website; and Magneto Technologies Ltd (http://magnetoweb.com) for the expertise which has enabled us to set up and maintain this website.

Last, but by no means least, we also thank our neighbours in the National HMO Lobby for their continuing help and support.

The views and opinions expressed in contributions to this website do not necessarily reflect those of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs, its committee, or its wider membership.

Whilst we endeavour to ensure that reports are accurate, from time to time mistakes may occur. If you feel this is the case, please contact the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs. Information on how to do so is available on the 'Contact Us' page of this website.