The University of Tasmania has announced it expects work to begin by the end of the year on a $50 million, 450-bed student accommodation complex in Hobart to be funded by commercial partners.
This announcement for the Melville Street complex will help address the shortage in student accommodation as housing supply issues begin to bite.
UTAS vice-chancellor Professor Black said the university would contribute to the community response both as a driver of demand for student accommodation and through the expertise of researchers with related disciplines such as demography and public policy.
“Hobart’s growing pains are the result of positive things: more people wanting to come here to live, study and visit,” Professor Black said.
“We think with the right ideas and approaches these challenges will be overcome.”
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Construction is expected to take between 18 months and two years to complete.
About 20,000 full-time students are enrolled at UTAS and the university provides 1,800 student beds.
Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman said that Tasmania is facing increasing demand for affordable housing alternatives, including for students.
“These challenges are best met with a whole of community response, and this announcement is a reflection of the University’s commitment to meet demand as enrolments continue to increase.
“More dedicated accommodation for students means less pressure on the available housing supply.”
The university is also working on a range of accommodation options for 150-200 new beds by semester two, to assist in housing the approximately 200 UTAS students currently living in substandard accommodation.
“We have some students now that we want to get better housing for, so we’ve got a range of options we’re looking at,” Professor Black said.
In January the University of Tasmania’s redevelopment of a new mega-campus in Launceston came closer to fruition with a $130 million funding boost from the federal government.
The university’s redevelopment will include a new precinct featuring modern, fit-for-purpose teaching and learning spaces, high-tech research facilities and a community-driven design of space fit to accommodate 16,000 students, researchers and staff.