Calls are growing for purpose-built, student accommodation to help cope with the looming influx of international students expected to arrive in the city.
- Study Gold Coast chief executive Alfred Slogrove says student accommodation should cost under $200 per week
- Australian Homestay Network founder David Bycroft says he’s expecting an influx of international students in July
- There are currently 13,000 international students studying on the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast’s rental property market has been under pressure due to interstate migration, with many long-term residents forced into alternative accommodation, including caravan parks and temporary shelters.
Industry body Study Gold Coast chief executive, Alfred Slogrove, said he expected the crisis would worsen when international students arrived to take up university places.
“We know that students are struggling to find accommodation close to their university.”
Mr Slogrove said the city needed accommodation options that are less than $200 rent per week. He said Study Gold Coast is planning to speak with all levels of government to find a solution.
“We know that large-scale, purpose-built, affordable accommodation is the solution,” he said.
“We know there’s the old hospital site in Southport, there’s the University Village over at Griffith [where] they’re looking to build further accommodation.
“We just need to do what we can to support them to actually facilitate that growth and development.”
Mr Slogrove said the short-term solution for students was to try to source accommodation through online platforms.
“A longer-term solution will definitely take 12 to 18 months to two years, depending on the sites available and actually getting providers to deliver this service that sits within these developments,” he said.
Mr Slogrove said suitable sites had been identified that were primarily located near tertiary campuses, including Southern Cross University, Bond University and Griffith University.
Homestay to help meet demand
In 2019, the Gold Coast was home to 35,000 international students, by comparison there are currently 13,000 overseas students.
Founder of the Australian Homestay Network, David Bycroft, said in the past the program had not had a problem finding suitable hosts on the Gold Coast, but admits pressure will soon be applied.
“I think the housing crisis is going to help us,” he said.
“There’ll be new people that have large mortgages that have spare rooms and they will be looking for some income to subsidise their household income.”
Mr Bycroft said he was expecting a large increase in the number of overseas students wanting to study in the area.
“The accommodation is going to be struggling to house the demand,” he said.
“We will be needing more hosts in pretty well all locations along the coast as the numbers build.
“What we are seeing now is enquiries rapidly, we’re seeing numbers being booked.