Wellington property developer provides emergency student accommodation

A prominent Wellington property developer is providing emergency accommodation for students struggling in the city’s rental market squeeze.

Ian Cassels has decided to take urgent action after reading a comment piece in the Heraldabout the difficulties of securing a flat in the capital this January and hearing other anecdotal stories of hardship.

The Wellington Company director has recently purchased a university hostel and this summer piloted a pop-up apartment idea to supply affordable accommodation outside of the academic year.

But after hearing the recent nightmare rental stories, Cassels has slashed the price of rooms and is prepared to open up further floors to the six being used in the pilot.

“It just hit us the other day that it was crazy not to make these rooms available at a zero profit basis.”

The rooms will cost $20 a night for a minimum of five nights targeting students in-between flats, or waiting on their year’s accommodation to open up.

It’s estimated the market rate for rent in the area is about $540 a week.

“This is the pressure time of year for students so they don’t really want to come to town and find out they’ve got nowhere to go”, Cassels said.

The rooms include fully contained apartments or bedrooms which share one ensuite.

Cassels is the first to admit the move is being made slightly on the hoof and is a slow reaction.

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