Innovative use of office space creates affordable housing solution too

I was really pleased yesterday to be able to join Professor Stephen Parker, and members of the Weeden Family to formally open Weeden Lodge – which is a brand new student accommodation complex for UC students, formerly known as the Cameron Offices on Chandler St.It has been named in honour of the late William John (Jock) Weeden – a committed benefactor to the University of Canberra, who clearly had a strong belief in the value of higher education.

While being a really innovative concept – utilising disused office space for accommodation – it will importantly provide 175 new dwellings, housing up to 220 students of a least 20% below market rent.

It is a joint initiative with the Commonwealth under the National Rental Affordability Scheme and the new accommodation includes modern common areas and a complimentary shuttle bus service that connects residents to the campus centre.

Opening up of student accommodation like this has a really positive effect for Canberra’s already tight rental market, and free up rental properties, at a particularly busy time.

The development is part of a larger plan by UC to build 1,000 new dwellings for student in Belconnen over the next four years.

For more information about UC student accommodation go to http://www.canberra.edu.au/residences/on-campus-accommodation

For more information about the National Rental Affordability Scheme go to http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/housing/progserv/nras/Pages/default.aspx