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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 1. 28 February 1972

Student Problem

Student Problem

Accommodation most certainly isn't only a student problem. Elderly people, who have about the same income, but less flexibility ere in a worse position. Young families, unable to pay the extortionate rents for houses are forced to take suburban boxes out at Wainuiomata or Porirua.

The noticeable feature of the 'student problem' is that it comes every year in January and February as the academic year begins and hundreds of out of town students rush for increasingly limited number of houses in the city and Kelburn areas. From almost every aspect, the siting of the University at Kelburn has been a disaster. On the harbour side a growing commercial area and now, a rapacious motorway have all but eliminated suitable houses. Around the Kelburn hills there is competition from young workers who Nam to live close to their city offices. There is no cheap flat land for development of student flats or hostels, and the prices for old houses, like rents have been inflated but of proportion to value.

That much is obvious. Because of its absurd site end because of city wide problems Victoria has the worst accommodation problems of any university. As university enrollments increase and no more than piecemeal measures are taken, the problem can only worsen.

All Indications are that 1972 is the leanest year on record. That is hardly surprising, given increasing student numbers and an almost total lack of improvement in the number of beds. The University itself is a major contributor to the problem. Already the floor space of the houses in Kelburn that are used as 9 to 5 studies is equal to that in the Easterfield building. As the building programme falls even further behind, even more houses will have to be bought and converted to studies. Kelburn Parade is now almost entirely offices, and the University's options extend further than that. The Sociology department has been banished to five houses in Clermont Tce, the other side of Weir House, and smaller departments like University Extension are over the top of Kelburn Parade and into Fairlie Tce.