On behalf of all staff, our residents and the key stakeholders of student accommodation across Australia, the student accommodation industry would like to commend the manner in which commonwealth, state and territory governments, and education providers have skilfully navigated the country through the COVID-19 pandemic to date.
The student accommodation industry provides over 95,000 beds for the sole purpose of providing students with safe, comfortable and secure accommodation to support the higher education journey.
Providers of student accommodation are connected through their collective dedication and commitment to delivering quality residential environments that offer a supported platform for students to develop resilience and the personal quality’s required to overcome challenging times and to be successful in life.
Under the definition of ‘Accommodation provided for the exclusive use of students’ - student accommodation in Australia comes in all shapes and sizes, falling under the categories of:
- University Managed
- Residential Colleges
- Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA)
- Commercially Managed Student Housing Portfolios
- Student Hostels
The industry is pleased to have been recognised as an ‘essential service’ through the lockdown phase of the pandemic which allowed providers to further demonstrate the critical role the industry plays in supporting the Australian education sector.
Student accommodation providers are immensely proud of the courage of our professionally trained management teams, who faced the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak in their communities, particularly in early months of the pandemic as students returned from affected countries.
In fact, the industry has gone to great lengths during the pandemic to:
- Develop COVID safe management plans and successfully integrate them into standard operational practice
- Provide financial flexibility through the application of rent credits and the negotiation of flexible payment plans to support students impacted by COVID-19
- Provide apartment options that are conducive to healthy quarantine
- Significantly invest in further enhancing student wellbeing and experience within our communities
- Support emergency accommodation programs across the country
- Provide support for under-18 international students unable to return home.
As Australia, and the Australian education sector moves into the next phase of the COVID-19 response, the student accommodation industry stands ready to support government and education providers to:
- Provide isolation solutions which meet the specific needs of students
- Accommodate students who may be stranded in Australia until international borders reopen.
- Welcome new students from unregulated share and private rental accommodation arrangements.
The student accommodation industry of Australia looks forward to continuing to play an important role in supporting the recovery of the Australian education sector.