Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 1. 28 February 1972
At present, students have no advantages whatever over anyone else in renting properties. The advertisements are placed in the papers by the Accommodation Service have a wishful air about them. This scheme might be something positive to alter that situation.
But paying out rents to existing landlords, even through a central student office, would not help as would buying properties. One land agent, with his eyes on increasing selling commission, advertised a place in Devon St. as an investment for four students each with $250. The house, one in quite good order, although in a damp gully, was selling for $10,000 (Government valuation $6,500). After the $1,000 deposit there were two mortgages, one at [unclear: 3%] and the second at 9%. The weekly payment in mortgage interest would be only $4 per person, a very low rent, even if paid for the whole year. Other [unclear: actors] such as $67.00 in rates, and the prospect of maintenance might make this less attractive, but the weekly payments would be going towards [unclear: n] appreciating asset.
For four students to go it alone would be quite a risk. Not too many would have the deposit to start with, and very [unclear: ew] groups of students are likely to stay together for several years in the same place.
This scheme could work if it were a cooperative student effort in which the student's association bought houses and rented them to individuals. The Student Executive has, in fact come close to doing just that on several occasions, the closest with the block of houses between Salamanca Rd. and Mount St. Each time unfavourable reports of the buildings caused the Executive to have cold feet.
For over a year now there have been plans for a Student's Accommodation Trust at a national level. But it seems this will be further procrastinated, because of the differing needs and finances of the individual Universities. The South Island Universities, with the least accommodation worries are not likely to be over anxious to invest in Victoria's problems. The idea of a national Trust seems a little premature It should be made to work at a local level first. A few houses bought and in operating order are much better publicity than all the impassioned talk at N.Z.U.S.A. meetings. Victoria has a special set of circumstances that make it the worst housed University. It even has a limited amount of finance for the project. The Trust deeds are being drafted. The big problem is to prevent this from becoming just another paper ideal.