Media Release by The Hon Robert McClelland MP

Cheaper Rent for Students in the ACT

Joint Media Release with:

  • Katy Gallagher MLA, Chief Minister for the Australian Capital Territory and Andrew Leigh MP, Member for Fraser

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Robert McClelland, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Federal Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh today announced the opening of Weeden Lodge which will provide more affordable rental accommodation for University students in Canberra.

The ACT Chief Minister officially opened the new accommodation, delivering 175 new dwellings, which will house up to 220 students in the refurbished Cameron Offices building on Chandler Street.

Development of the property was made possible by support of both the ACT and Commonwealth Governments through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.  Features include modern common areas and a complimentary shuttle bus service that connects residents to the campus centre.

The Chief Minister highlighted the importance of projects such as the provision of new student accommodation for enhancing the role of education in the Canberra, which is already one of the ACT’s most socially and economically important sectors.

“The addition of 220 new beds for students studying at the University of Canberra not only strengthens the position of the education sector as our second largest export, but will also benefit other Canberrans in the rental market by freeing up other rental properties.”

“It will deliver a significant injection of rental properties for students which are leased at a discounted rent of at least 20 percent below market rates.

“We are really pleased to support this development as part of a larger plan by UC to build 1,000 new dwellings for student in Belconnen over the next four years,” the Chief Minister said.

“The Australian Government recognises that there is a shortage of rental properties around the country and Weeden Lodge is part of a $4.3 billion investment to increase the supply of affordable housing across the nation through National Rental Affordability Scheme,” said Mr McClelland. 

“This scheme will help build 50 000 new rental properties across Australia, which will allow households to save thousands of dollars every year in rent,” said Mr McClelland. 

“Weeden Lodge will receive almost $12.5 million in Australian Government support over the next 10 years,” said Mr Leigh.

“With so many people moving to Canberra at this time of year for work and study, it’s great to see more affordable housing available in time for the new semester.

“The Gillard Government is committed to Canberra and investments such as this one continue to make Canberra an attractive option for students, ” said Mr Leigh. 

In the ACT alone, 2695 affordable rental homes have been built under the scheme.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme aims to build more affordable private rental housing, encouraging private investment in innovative affordable housing and reducing rental costs for low and moderate income households.

Delivered in partnership with state and territory governments, the scheme provides annual financial incentive payments to the business sector and community organisations to build and rent new homes at a minimum 20 per cent below market rate.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme is part of the Australian Government’s efforts to ensure that more Australians have an affordable roof over their head. 

Other investments include the $450 million Housing Affordability Fund and the $100 million Building Better Regional Cities program, which will deliver more affordable housing across the country.