Campus life: Griffith Uni chalks up new social housing complex

The loss of visiting students in Australia’s higher education sector has been the gain of people looking for emergency shelter, as Griffith University turns over student accomodation to a new social housing precinct.

Feb 08, 2023, updated Feb 08, 2023
 Steven Mile is aiming for Queensland to make 240,000 new home starts this year - but is likely to come up 90,000 short. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Steven Mile is aiming for Queensland to make 240,000 new home starts this year - but is likely to come up 90,000 short. (AAP Image/Darren England)

The university will repurpose 200 unused student beds at its Mount Gravatt campus with the Queensland Government announcing on Wednesday that construction has started to convert the buildings into short-term accommodation.

The project is among $50 million of support the Palaszczuk Government is throwing at the state’s severe public housing shortfall, which came to a head last October with the hosting of a summit in Brisbane to discuss proposals aimed at resolving the crisis.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said in a media statement that the modified dwellings would provide a buffer for Queenslanders doing it tough in the current tight housing market before they can get back into rental arrangements.

“It will mean a roof over the heads of more Queenslanders when they need it most,” he said.

“The plan to repurpose unused student beds came out of our housing roundtable, showing what can be achieved by working together.

“I would like to thank Griffith University for bringing this opportunity to the table and for continuing to work with us to get this accommodation up and running.”

Works to the complex come after Economic Development Queensland assessed the complex as safe and suitable for future residents. Modifications include changes to the floor plan to provide people with a small living area and bed space. Kitchen and bathroom facilities will be shared.

Construction is expected to be finished in mid-2023, a timeline that has drawn the ire of Opposition housing spokesman Tim Mander, who said that after nearly six months and two announcements the government had failed to deliver additional housing to people in need.

“Sadly, today’s showy re-announcement has again highlighted the lack of compassion the Palaszczuk Government has for Queenslanders who need a home,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government announced this plan on September 16 last year. When the Premier announced the plan the first time she said the accommodation would be open, ‘in around six months’. That’s March this year.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk even said, ‘we might be able to release some earlier’. She hasn’t delivered any of those things.”

Mander said the timing spelled out by Miles today meant no one would be housed at Griffith until at least mid year.

“The Palaszczuk Government have been caught pedalling false hope, which is devastating for people living out of their cars or in tents,” he said.

“The only thing the government has done is announce something again – no action, no delivery, just an announcement and kicking problems down the road.”




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