Student Housing Action Collective (SHAC) petition for affordable student housing sign now

Student Housing Action Collective (SHAC) petition for affordable student housing


The gravity of the current housing crisis is one that has been acknowledged by the University of Melbourne as affecting students. Housing and financial stress has been seen to affect the capacity of students to perform academically, and even to see out the duration of their course. While the University has existing housing and welfare programs in place, in the face of the current housing crisis and the precarious financial status of many students, these programs are proving inadequate.

It is in this context that the Student Housing Action Collective (SHAC) has put together a proposal to be understood as one possibility amongst the many planning and policy avenues the University should pursue as regards the serious shortage of affordable student housing. This proposal calls upon the active collaboration between students and the University to establish new affordable student housing. SHAC requests the assistance of the University in the conversion of the property located at 272 278 Faraday Street Carlton into a student run housing co-operative, to be managed by its residents and users. While obviously not capable of addressing the full extent of the housing crisis, SHAC understands the co-operative as a dynamic and viable model for this pilot housing project. This is because it places emphasis on building a community based on individual and collective responsibility, mutual help, democracy, equality and solidarity between its residents and users.

The unequivocal benefit of the specific proposal put forward by SHAC is that it aims to provide for both local and international students and create a dynamic space for cross-cultural communication. Furthermore SHACs co-operative proposal provides a platform for the injection of student voices into discussions around student housing. Supporting SHAC represents an opportunity for the University of Melbourne to participate in a leading initiative in social housing in Australia, and to demonstrate its commitment to equity and democracy in access to education and its responsibility as a corporate citizen to respond to a crisis in student housing availability.

We the undersigned, ask University Council-

1. To let the students currently occupying 272-278 Faraday Street Carlton continue occupation.

2. To take seriously the Student Housing Crisis Report and Proposal put forth by SHAC, and seek to engage with SHAC members around the University provision of affordable student housing.

3. To convert the site of 272-278 Faraday Street Carlton into low cost equitable co-operative student housing, managed by its residents and users, for local and international students experiencing poverty and at risk of homelessness or severe housing stress.

4. To begin this conversion immediately and to ensure that the conversion process does not exceed 6 months in duration. This is to say that the property is fully functional for co-operative student housing in 6 months or less.

5. To employ students as consultants and labourers in this conversion and to ensure that all decisions are made in collaboration with students themselves.

6. To provide funding for the initial establishment for the conversion of the property into student run co-operative housing.

7. To ensure that the site is used to make the general University experience more accessible to local and international students from low income backgrounds who might otherwise be excluded on the basis of their economic standing.

8. To make a commitment to long term planning around the provision of affordable student housing, and to make sure that student consultation is central to the unfolding of this planning.

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Joni RobertsBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
University of Melbourne Council

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