23 August 2012
Canberra Co-op Welcomes Legislative Assembly Support for Affordable, Student-driven solution to Housing Crisis
The Canberra Student Housing Cooperative today welcomed the report of the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs (PDF), which recommended exploring the cooperative model as a solution to the student housing crisis.
The Committee’s report on Accommodation Needs for Tertiary Students in the ACT recommended “that the ACT Government explore developing student co-operative models, along the lines of the Sydney University model, with ANU or UC and report to the Legislative Assembly on this matter” (Recommendation 3).
“Affordable and appropriate accommodation remains out of reach for many students in the ACT, so this report is timely,” CSHC Director, Tom Stayner said. “It’s great to see that our student-driven solution, which provides affordable, inclusive and sustainable accommodation, is getting the recognition it deserves.”
“Although the report identified the Sydney University model, it’s important to clarify that we already have a student co-op here in Canberra, which recently began housing 22 students in a truly affordable community environment at Havelock House in Turner,” Mr. Stayner added.
“We have based our model on the great examples of Stucco Cooperative in Sydney, and from the strong tradition of cooperatives in North America, where hundreds of student-run residences provide accommodation, community and professional development for their members. This year is United Nations International Year of Cooperatives, so it’s a great time to be spreading the word.”
The Committee noted, “the ACT is potentially an ideal place for an approach to alternative accommodation models for students… with increasing demand and difficulties in meeting that demand, there is a need for innovation and novel solutions to satisfy demand for affordable student housing.” It added that existing ACT Cooperative legislation is able to accommodate housing cooperatives.
“The cooperative model is a cost-effective solution to the lack of adequate, secure and affordable accommodation, as identified in today’s report. It is now up to the Government to act on these recommendations – as we approach this year’s election, we look forward to continuing our work with both government and universities to expand the use of this model in the ACT,” Mr. Stayner said.
Contact: Tom Stayner 0409 605 875
Read the full report (PDF)