GOTAFE encourages locals to provide short-term accommodation to out-of-town students
GOTAFE is looking to partner with local community members that can provide short-term, low-cost accommodation for our students.
GOTAFE covers a wide geographic footprint and services a large community. Students travel from all around the state to attend blocks of study at local campuses and need suitable a suitable place to stay.
Luke Falzon, Director of Student Success at GOTAFE said the accommodation network provides benefits for both students and hosts, providing students with affordable housing and enabling community members to earn some extra money by leasing their spare rooms.
"The accommodation network has been successful in Wangaratta for a number of years and we are looking at expanding the program around our campuses in Seymour, Wallan and Shepparton. We know these regions are facing significant housing shortages, so having more affordable accommodation options will enable GOTAFE to support more students and apprentices across Victoria to study in-demand fields and meet current workforce needs."
“If you have a spare room or granny flat that our students can use as a short-term base for their studies, please get in touch with our team and ask about being added to our host register. Once you get added to our host register, GOTAFE staff will get in contact with you when a student requests accommodation for a block of study,” he said.
“As a host, you will be providing a valuable service to our students, helping them get the most out of their learning experience and providing a safe and supportive home away from home for them,” he added.
Gloria has been providing accommodation to GOTAFE students for over 30 years. She lives only a five-minute walk from the Wangaratta campus, making it easy for students who don’t have access to transport. Gloria’s house used to have a hair salon at the back, which she turned into a spare room with three beds.
Gloria enjoys the company and the extra money she earns from providing accommodation and home-cooked meals to students during their study blocks. “It’s so nice to have them here and cook a proper meal and eat with them. It’s worked out, I haven’t had a problem,” she said.
“If you’ve got a home and you're on your own I would definitely encourage you to sign up. If you can do them a favour, why not?” she said.
Gloria had such a positive experience, she referred her friend Elaine to become a host as well.
Elaine has maintained strong relationships with some of the students that have stayed with her over the years.
"We’ve been invited to weddings, and they’ve brought their babies around. I've had Christmas cards from the families letting me know that the student has grown up and what they’ve been doing with their lives. I get a lot of pleasure out of it."
Elaine hosts students in her spare room, which has private bathroom facilities, and she cooks a two-course dinner for them. Students stay with her for a week and come back every six weeks or so during a block of study.
“It’s good company and it always makes me cook a proper meal that I can sit and share with them,” she said.
Anna-Kate has been providing accommodation to GOTAFE students studying in Wangaratta for over three years.
“There’s a real lack of affordable accommodation options in Wangaratta, we knew that there was a need there and it seemed like a really good fit,” she said.
Anna-Kate converted her rental property into student housing and offers longer-term leases as well as accommodation for students with short blocks of study. “Most of the students that have stayed with us have been great. We’ve had some that are still staying at our place three years later,” she said.Find out more about the Student Accommodation Network and become a host