• May 25, 2018
Gilbert Patten-Elliot was lucky to get quality accommodation for a good price in Wellington, something that is hard to find at the moment. Photo: Supplied.
Victoria University students in Wellington continue to face an accommodation battle as prices and demand continue to fluctuate.
The University provides 3,474 beds in the halls of residence for first year students, introducing 240 more than last year.
However, this increased capacity has had a negative flow on effect for students moving out of halls into flats.
VUWSA welfare vice president Beth Paterson said that this has become a serious problem for students.
“We’ve got a lot of students in really expensive accommodation that is way outside their budget.”
In a meeting with MPs recently, the VUWSA called for more housing supply, but were aware it is a long-term solution and fails to address anything immediately.
Ms Paterson added that even though living costs and allowances have gone up, additional rent increases have made little difference to student finances.
UVic student Gilbert Patten-Elliot said it was hard to find his first flat at the start of 2017, recalling the state as hardly livable, and a lack of natural lighting had an impact on his health.
“We made a sacrifice in terms of quality in accommodation, it was kind of the only option.” He added
The lack of appropriate living areas and conditions have meant some students have had to move out of central Wellington for affordable accommodation.
Director of student campus and living, Rainsforth Dix said that building accommodation for second year students is an option.
“Our accommodation team is already working toward a mixed model of accommodating new and returning students in halls this year and seeing how that works,
We will then make decisions about how this will work in 2019 and beyond.”
Ms Paterson believes that the increase in first year accommodation is good, but the students moving to flats need to be considered as well.
Mr Patten-Elliot said the viewing process was crowded and difficult and often felt an unfair advantage for wealthier students.
“When you go to viewings, from my experience, you didn’t feel like you were getting it.
People with more money would say we can pay more, I struggled a lot.”