Action on uni housing

Action on uni housing

The ACT government will adopt all the recommendations of a Legislative Assembly committee report aimed at improving student housing affordability in the ACT.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said on Thursday the government had agreed, or agreed in part, to all 10 recommendations from a standing committee report on student housing released during the last Assembly term.

The Legislative Assembly will adopt recommendations to improve housing affordability for students.

The Legislative Assembly will adopt recommendations to improve housing affordability for students.Credit:Graham Tidy

But Ms Gallagher said improving rental affordability for students would be based on increasing the supply of student housing and not on providing subsidies.

The report's recommendations included incorporating planning for student housing into the territory's housing affordability plan and encouraging the development of more student housing similar to existing developments such as the ANU city west project.


The Committee also recommended a survey of ACT students to identify their accommodation needs and expectations.

Ms Gallagher said that if the government wanted to promote Canberra as a university city the tertiary sector should not be constrained by a lack of affordable housing.

"If Canberra's to become a tertiary hub in Australia we need to make sure that we've got affordable housing options for students," she said.

"I think the report recognised the work being done with UC and the ANU in terms of partnerships with the government and we just need to stay focused on looking at innovative ways to supply student housing in the future."

But the Higher Education Minister said the key to driving down student rents was supply, not subsidies.

"That's the single biggest area where we can influence downward pressure on rents," Ms Gallagher said.

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