UQ responds to housing market with new student residences project

The proposed development would offer students accommodation options at below mar
The proposed development would offer students accommodation options at below market rates.
A second student residences complex is planned for The University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus to help address a shortage of suitable and affordable rental accommodation.

The complex would double UQ-owned onsite student accommodation and follows the success of the 610-room purpose-built Kev Carmody House, which opened with 100 per cent occupancy in 2022.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the University’s feasibility study found demand for purpose-built student accommodation would continue to grow over the coming years.

"Vacancy rates for rental accommodation in Brisbane are at record low levels and the supply of purpose-built student accommodation has slowed in recent years," Professor Terry said.

"This project would complement existing UQ-owned accommodation and our residential colleges, while hopefully taking some pressure off the rental market in our surrounding area."

The development will be funded through a Queensland Treasury Corporation loan to develop on-campus accommodation, which also supported construction of Kev Carmody House, and is expected to be financially sustainable from the first year of operation.

Professor Terry said a number of design options are being assessed, with the development likely to comprise three buildings of 5 to 9 storeys due to the Walcott Street site’s topography.

"The project would be built across from Kev Carmody House and UQ-owned units on Walcott Street," Professor Terry said.

"We will be consulting with Brisbane City Council and others as we consider appropriate integration with the surrounding area."

Professor Terry said that like all UQ-owned accommodation, the project would provide students with accommodation options at below market rates.

"The University is committed to making study here more accessible for students from rural and regional areas and those from a low-socio economic background and this project will help us to deliver on that.

"We also need to accommodate our students who leave their families behind to join us from overseas."

Accommodation will be of a similar quality offering to that at Kev Carmody House , with ensuites and air conditioning in all rooms and central cooking facilities on each floor, along with a mix of study spaces, 24/7 management, and gym and games room facilities.

Several self-contained apartments will also be included.

A final business case would likely be considered later this year and, if approved, construction would start in 2024 for an opening for the start of first semester in 2026.