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Accommodation at North West Cambridge

The North West Cambridge (NWC) site is located between Madingley Road and Huntingdon Road. The first phase of accommodation is due to start becoming available in phases from July/August/September 2017. This will consist of around 700 furnished 1- and 2-bedroom apartments.

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Postdocs employed by the University, Colleges, and Partner Institutes can apply to rent these apartments. Please find below some information about what is available, how eligibility and priority on the waiting list is calculated, and how to apply.

You can find further information on the Accommodation Service website. If you have questions, you can contact Ruth Mann, Area Housing Manager, on


Subsidised rent

Rents for the NWC site are subsidised (this does not apply to other properties available through the University Accommodation Service, only those at NWC). The monthly rent charge will vary for each individual or household – it is calculated based on 30% of the applicant’s net household income (total income after tax and National Insurance). 

Household income will include the applicant’s salary and other income, the salary/income of any other household members, and interest from any savings. It will not include Disability Living Allowance, child benefits, or University/College teaching up to 80 hours per year. Household income reviews will take place at 1, 5 and 8 months into the tenancy.

The monthly rent charge will not be higher than the market value of the properties, which is currently based at £1,000 for a 1- and £1,250 for a 2-bedroom apartment.



In order for the Accommodation Service to approve your application to rent a property at NWC, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a contract of at least 18 hours/week with the University, College, or Partner Institute.
  • You must have at least 12 months remaining on your contract.

If your application is not successful because of high income figures, you will be informed automatically by a system email. If your income changes and is then reduced, you may reapply for accommodation on the NWC site. However, the Accommodation Service application process is set up not to let applicants re-submit income details on a regular basis to prevent misuse.

If your net household income increases during your tenancy and leads to a calculated rent of more than 10% over market value, the tenancy will end with 2 months notice. In this case, the rent may increase to market value for the remainder of the tenancy.


The application process

To apply for accommodation at NWC, you must first register on the general Accommodation Service list. There is no fee to register. Once your details have been submitted and approved, you will have access to private landlords and University owned accommodation.

You can then log into the Accommodation Service website to complete the second stage – applying for University owned accommodation.

This will ask you for your financial information, and will allow you to make selections about the type of accommodation you’re looking for.

There are a few points to bear in mind when applying for accommodation on the NWC site through this system:

  • There are no 3-bedroom apartments at NWC – individuals and couples without children will be eligible for the 1-bedroom apartments, family size is limited to one child only for the 2-bedroom apartments.
  • If you select ‘non-subsidised accommodation’, you won’t be given the option of choosing accommodation at NWC – you need to select either ‘subsidised’ or ‘both’.
  • People are currently advised to fill in a desired tenancy start date of after 1st April 2017 if they wish to be considered for housing at NWC.
  • All accommodation at NWC is furnished, so if you select ‘unfurnished’, you won’t be given the option of choosing accommodation at NWC.

If your situation changes, you can edit your requirements.



Priority on the waiting list is automatically created depending on the information that the applicant has entered, and will be as follows: 

  1. Hard-to-fill post (defined and allocated by HR)
  2. New member of staff, new to Cambridge, coming from overseas
  3. New member of staff, new to Cambridge, coming from the UK (outside Cambridge)
  4. New member of staff, prior knowledge of Cambridge, coming from overseas
  5. New member of staff, prior knowledge of Cambridge, coming from the UK (outside Cambridge)
  6. New member of staff, coming from the Cambridge area
  7. Existing member of staff (started more than 4 months ago)
  8. Member of a Partner Institute or affiliated organisation


Car parking & transport

Some parking is available but it is limited – the Accommodation Service will operate a waiting list. Each property will have access to a free membership to Zip Car and can use their cars, which will be located across the site.

The current Universal bus service is due to go onto the NWC site when the first phase of accommodation is completed. Cycle routes will also open across the site from Huntingdon Road to Madingley Road.

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