A new Board was elected at Zebra’s annual general meeting on 29 September. Alison Ahearn continues as Chair and the Board is joined by new member, Roland Shanks, who works for the University of London in their housing division.

The new Zebra Board met later that evening. It agreed a new policy on Data Protection which complies with best practice in the area and a new business continuity procedure; it also looked at “market renting” up to 9 of Zebra’s flats for a limited period. Our thinking is that it would be useful to raise extra cash by letting a limited number of flats at their market rental value to enable us to develop more homes and these new homes would be for international students that would be let at ordinary Zebra rents i.e. between 20% and 30% lower than the market.

The Board is still considering the proposal and particularly looking at whom we might let “market rented homes” to. We think it would be sensible and more in keeping with our aims and objectives if we let our “market rented” homes to those from outside the UK and associated with academe – because these are areas that we are familiar with. So our target group for “market renting” would be visiting academic staff and post-doctoral students – people who we currently exclude from our general waiting list. And we would let properties for a minimum 6 month period. This group typically have more income than our current resident group and therefore can afford a higher rent.

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