University of Sydney-owned student accommodation rates are set to increase by approximately 6% in August next year.
Tentative prices for the coming year were released this August with rents starting at $303 per week for 48-week contracts and going up to $490. Affected accommodation includes Queen Mary Building, Abercrombie, Regiment Building and Darlington House on the Camperdown-Darlington campus and Nepean Hall and Lodge on the Camden campus.
Darlington House is currently the cheapest on-campus accommodation in Camperdown-Darlington, with current rates rising from $286 to $303 per week for a medium room. The price for a studio in Abercrombie student accommodation will shoot from $461 to $491. A single room in Camden’s Napean Hall currently costs $153 but will go up to $163, and a single room in Napean Lodge’s 6-bedroom property will increase from $177 to $188 a week. None of the accommodation options offer catering.
Australia’s current cost of living crisis is disproportionately impacting students. The University of Sydney spokesperson said — “We know the housing and rental market in Sydney is difficult, compounded by cost of living increases. We work hard to keep prices at our owned accommodation as low as possible and our weekly rents across the portfolio remain one of the most competitive in the market.
“We independently assess our rates each year to ensure they are at least 25 percent below the private comparable market while taking into account operating cost increases. This year we increased rents equivalent to CPI only.”
USyd Student Representative Council’s Welfare Officer Harrison Brennan said that this move “shows a complete disregard for the well-being of student residents living on or near campus, and further reaffirms their commitment to profit above all else. It is guaranteed to affect international students the most, who are forced to rely on student accommodation because of a completely inaccessible rental market throughout NSW.
“Whilst there is an average 6% increase across all accommodation options, some locations like Sydney University Village, who have their residents on different contracts, will see students forced to pay either an 8-9% increase, or one as large as 15%. In SUV, 93 people in building 1 are sharing three stoves, whilst paying some of the highest costs per week. The USyd SRC opposes all rent increases in student accommodation, especially in the current economic crisis. Student accommodation should be an accessible, affordable, and quality alternative to the rental market.”
The revised rates do not showcase any rental rate changes for the residential colleges at the moment. The Welfare Action Collective are organising a public meeting and petition to oppose these changes.