A ‘practical and expedient’ solution to University of Tasmania housing crisis
MORE than 60 repurposed shipping containers will be shifted from Queensland to Tasmania early next year to host about 180 University of Tasmania students at the institution’s Sandy Bay campus.
Shipping container company Royal Wolf this month approached UTAS with a suggestion it make use of its three-bedroom units after hearing of the university’s issues in accommodating all students who had applied to live in university-owned housing.
Chief executive Neil Littlewood said the units travelling to Tasmania had most recently housed workers involved in resource exploration in Queensland.
Pending Hobart City Council approval, the units will be in Tasmania early next year, where they will be connected to water, sewerage and electricity.
A development application was submitted to the council on December 24 and was last week listed as under assessment.
Mr Littlewood said each unit was typically fitted with a king single bed, a television, a cupboard and an ensuite, with split system air-conditioning.
UTAS has said the units would be reconfigured to the standard of other on-site residential accommodation and be placed on a patch of land near Christ College.
It is understood a roof will be built above the containers to provide extra protection from hot and cold weather.
Mr Littlewood would not comment on how much UTAS would pay for use of the containers but said it would pay monthly rent.
“I believe our solution for UTAS is both practical and expedient and it will provide the students very effective accommodation,” he said.
UTAS Vice Chancellor Rufus Black has previously indicated the demountables will be used until a new 430-bed accommodation opens in Melville Street in 2021.
The university came under fire early December after sending students who lived in residential accommodation links to online real estate websites because it had received more applications than it could service and had decided to prioritise first-year and regional enrolments.
It has since bought the Fountainside Hotel, where about 100 students will be based, as well as importing the shipping containers.
It will also expand MidCity Apartments and the Theatre Royal Hotel.
Royal Wolf ~