A call for student accommodation in Aberdeen to include a 25% affordable housing component has been defeated at a meeting of the full council yesterday.
The motion from the SNP group aimed to ensure that student housing is subject to the same affordable housing contributions as mainstream housing schemes.
It emerged after a letter from housing minister Kevin Stewart confirmed that councils had the power to set their own housing policies.
But members of the Labour-led administration argued such a policy had not been trialled anywhere in the UK and voiced concerns that more homes of multiple occupation (HMOs) would emerge if the plan was approved.
Infrastructure convener Neil Cooney said: “Two years ago we had a major student accommodation problem in this city where some students were living in hotels.
“Yes this accommodation is expensive, but much of it is paid for by the bank of mum and dad, and they are happy to pay and for their children to live there.
“Without the development of student accommodation we would have a major crisis.”
But SNP group leader, Stephen Flynn, said: “The decision by Labour, the Conservatives and the three independents has sacrificed affordable housing across our city in favour of private profits for property developers.
“There is a dire need for affordable housing in our city and this could generate millions towards building that but, for whatever reason, the Labour/Tory cabal moved to see that money instead come out of the public purse rather than the very deep pockets of those who profit.”
The motion was defeated by 21 votes to 20.