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February 21, 2005 | by  | in News |
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Student Hoards Descend Upon Wellington

Construction delays at a new hostel have again seen students forced to stay in a hotel, possibly for as long as a month.

Students who were to move into the Southern Cross hostel, owned by accommodation provider EdPAC, have been told that it may not be ready until 13 March.

This also occurred last year, when construction delays meant that residents of another EdPAC hostel were unable to move into their rooms until early March.

Managing Director John White rejected the suggestion that EdPAC was responsible for the delays, saying that both instances were “unavoidable”. He cited the boom in the property and construction markets as one of the causes of the delays.

The would-be residents are currently being housed across the road at Hotel Wellington with a “substantial” rent reduction. White said that EdPAC is doing their best to provide security and facilities for them. Last year, the displaced students were housed at a backpackers.

In contrast, things are going well for the other major hostels, with most tenancies having already begun. Groups of international students are still “dribbling in” to Unicomm, Weir and Stafford Houses.

On the advice of the University, Stafford House has enforced an alcohol ban for the first two weeks of Orientation. This is not in place at Unicomm and there have been no significant alcohol-related problems so far.

However, there does appear to be an accommodation shortage and there are waiting lists at many of the hostels, with at least one student forced to stay at a backpackers. A spokesperson for the Student Accommodation Service said that much of the shortage was being absorbed by the private market. She went on to say that market rent appeared to have stablised this year, averaging out at around $110 a week per person for flatting.

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About the Author ()

Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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