Issue 10 - 7 November 2011 enews home

Funding fast-tracks student accommodation

By Robyn McDougall

Michael Christie

Charles Darwin University will build up to 100 apartments for low-income students following the Australian Government's announcement of the National Rental Affordability Scheme Round (NRAS).

The Australian and Northern Territory governments together will contribute almost $5 million in NRAS payments towards the project over the next 10 years.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover welcomed the funding from the NRAS, saying it would allow the university to fast-track construction of accommodation that would be available to students and staff who were on low incomes.

The NRAS will provide rental support of about $5000 a year for 10 years for each of the apartments, allowing the tenants to rent at least 20 per cent below the market rate.

"We expect to build 60 single-bedroom apartments in 2012 and a further 40 apartments in 2013 if the demand is there," Professor Glover said.

Planning work would begin in the next few weeks. North Flinders International House, which manages the student accommodation on Casuarina campus, would manage the new accommodation.

"Affordable housing will certainly enhance the university's appeal to future students as they consider their study options," he said.

"Paying for rent is a significant burden for low-income earners and I am delighted that soon the university will have these facilities to ease some of that pressure."

The building phase would also provide a welcome boost to the local construction industry, Professor Glover said.

The CDU apartments are among more than 400 properties that will be built in the Northern Territory under the fourth round of the NRAS, which was announced recently.