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University of Tasmania provides MRC Tas with short-term accommodation for new Tasmanians

Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania leases unoccupied University of Tasmania student accommodation to provide short-term housing to newly arrived Tasmanians. 

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A partnership between Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania (MRC Tas) and the University of Tasmania will provide much-needed affordable short-term accommodation to new Tasmanians with a refugee background.

Starting in December, MRC Tas will lease unoccupied university student accommodation during the break, including six five-bedroom units in Launceston and seven rooms each accommodating two to three clients in Hobart, as well as a communal room to be used as a recreational space.

The average vacancy rate for private rental housing in Tasmania has been sitting at about 1% throughout 2022, making it increasingly difficult for Tasmanians to find affordable housing.

The lease agreement between MRC Tas and the University is an opportunity to utilise unoccupied student accommodation during the university break.

Landscape view of Hobart city

“This agreement means the University can support some of our community’s newest Tasmanians during periods when suitable accommodation facilities are not being used for their primary purpose – providing housing for students,” University Deputy Chief Operating Officer Penny Ratcliffe said.

The University accommodation will be used to support new arrivals in the Australian Government’s Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP).

“Despite a chronic shortage of rental properties in Tasmania, this innovative joint venture means that people fleeing war and other crises will have access to otherwise unoccupied short-term accommodation,” said MRC Tas CEO Gillian Long.

The HSP helps humanitarian entrants and other eligible visa holders to build the skills and knowledge they need to become self-reliant and active members of the community.

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