FOR the thousands of students moving to Wollongong to attend the University of Wollongong (UOW) in February, finding suitable housing is often the first challenge.
Rental, share and other accommodation is becoming increasingly difficult to secure, and many students, particularly international students, have little experience in this area.
To assist students with this challenge, Accommodation Services at the University of Wollongong is introducing the Housing Assessment Scheme (HAS). HAS is a SSAF (Student Services and Amenities Fee) funded initiative which will assist students to make better informed choices when searching for a property using the Accommodation Services property listing site, UOW Study Stays.
“Our UOW Study Stays site allows students to search for suitable properties in the Illawarra area,” UOW Marketing and Occupancy Manager, Accommodation Services Edwina Ellicott said.
“Students can define their online search according to weekly rent, location, number of bedrooms and much more.
“HAS takes this to a new level. Properties listing on our UOW Study Stays site now have the option to participate in an assessment process, where by our staff will assess the property and determine if it meets a set of criteria. If the property does meet the criteria, it gets the “thumbs up”, and on the UOW Study Stays site, next to the property listing will be a ‘thumbs up’ logo.
“The criteria used looks at areas such as general maintenance and cleanliness of the property. Participation from properties is entirely optional and properties that choose not to participate are in no way penalised. The advantage of participating is that when properties receive the thumbs up logo, students are more likely to select their property over others as they know it has met with a set of criteria. The “thumbs up” properties also appear first, so they get better exposure.
“Students benefit from HAS as they know that when they chose a property with the thumbs up logo, they are selecting a property that provides suitable accommodation meeting a minimum standard.
“The reaction from property providers has been really positive to date and we look forward to rolling out HAS over the coming months, as it is a win win for students and property providers,” she said.