Property Council concerned over lack of student accommodation as borders re-open

The Property Council of Australia has expressed concern over the NSW State Governments’ decision to not include planning controls for student housing which will result in a lack of student accommodation as our nation begins to open its borders.

Property Council NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said providing an adequate supply of student housing for the incoming influx of university students will be critical in supporting the re-opening of international borders.

“We are concerned the State Government has not included specific planning controls for student housing in their recently released draft housing legislation, the draft Housing State Environmental Planning Policy,” Mr Achterstraat said.

“When students return to Australia to commence or continue their studies, it is important that they can access safe, purpose-built student accommodation in locations close to their campuses.

“We are expecting increasing amounts of students to arrive before the new year and they all require affordable, accessible accommodation in a sensible location.”

Mr Achterstraat said currently student housing providers must rely on development standards and provisions which are not fit for purpose.

“This has already hindered the growth potential of this industry and supply of student accommodation,” he said.

“This is an unfortunate oversight and will have significant ramifications for the university sector as well as the student housing providers in NSW who are looking to invest and deliver student housing in areas of high demand.

“The NSW Government has led the way in reopening borders to international students in Australia, an important economic step with education historically one of our largest exports.

“It is important the government back this move to support incoming students by ensuring there is a good supply of suitable accommodation for them when they arrive.

“We urge the state government to include planning provisions for the development of student housing when the Housing Policy is finalised later this year.”

Media contact: Aidan Green | M 0491 030 028 | E [email protected]