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University housing shortage prompts appeal to nearby residents

Wollongong university students

Wollongong university students

FOR the thousands of students moving to Wollongong in February, finding suitable housing is often the first challenge of university life.

The University of Wollongong is seeking help from nearby residents who are able to assist with affordable housing for domestic or international students. They are being encouraged to contact Accommodation Services on 4221 5646. Share, rental, full board or temporary accommodation can all be listed on the Accommodation Services website free of charge and Accommodation Services can also advise on rental rates, reaching agreement on use of common areas etc. Alternatively visit http://uow.studystays.com/ to find or list a property.

Each year UOW receives an increasing number of applications to limited places in UOW residences. From March 2013, however, 200 new beds will be available for students at Kooloobong Village, UOW’s newest student residence. The new residence when completed in July 2013 will provide 360 new residence places.

“The expansion of student accommodation is a strategic direction that the University is taking. The additional beds will help to ease the housing shortage in Wollongong,” Director of Accommodation Services, Nigel Pennington said.

“For 2013 we realise that some students are still going to have difficulties finding suitable accommodation. As in previous years, students will be able to take advantage of the Housing Service and seek advice on how to go about looking for rental properties, what type of information is required and where to start looking,” he said.

“The UOW Study Stays website is an ideal site for students to search for properties and for landlords and property owners to list a spare room, flat or rental accommodation. The site is updated daily, provides a range of property listings and a wealth of information about private accommodation.

“An added benefit is that properties can now choose to participate in HAS (Housing Assessment Scheme) and get the ‘thumbs up’ if their property meets the assessment criteria. Students are more likely to select properties with the ‘thumbs up’ logo over others as they know it has been assessed against these criteria. The ‘thumbs up’ properties also appear first, with a logo, on the study stays website searches, so they get better exposure.

“Students benefit from HAS as they know that when they choose a property with the ‘thumbs up’ logo, they are selecting a property that provides suitable accommodation meeting a minimum standard,” Mr Pennington said.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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