The government of Western Australia has announced a $50,000AUD campaign to entice homeowners in the state to host international students.
Amid a housing crisis in Australia that has been ongoing since before international students returned in April, international students in WA are seeing rent increasing while housing availability plummets.
Therefore, the WA government are stepping in, asking WA residents with room to host an international student with the offer of remuneration at $295 a week.
“It is important that we provide safe, affordable, and welcoming accommodation to international students arriving in our state,” said David Templeman, WA minister for international education.
“Hosting an international student in your home is an enriching experience that drives value within the community.
“As a WA homeowner, this is your chance to help an international student find their feet in a new city,” he explained.
The plan aims to drive homestay host registrations in the run-up to the first semester of 2023 – and the campaign will continue to run through print, social media and on radio stations across the state until early next year.
“It is important that we provide safe, affordable, and welcoming accommodation”
Derryn Belford, StudyPerth’s CEO, said that as numbers are at around “80% of pre-pandemic levels”, the hope is that numbers will return to normal around 2024 – but the issue remains of housing the growing numbers of international students.
“The rental market is very, very tough at the moment,” she said.
“We’ve actually identified that there’s probably unmet demand for anywhere between 3000 and 4000 beds next semester for students,” she explained.
The announcement read that providing “safe and affordable housing” for students coming from abroad will be “essential to the growth of the sector”.
Other states have also responded to the housing crisis in different ways; South Australia’s capital city Adelaide gaining a new $110,000AUD complex courtesy of housing provider GSA, where 90% of rooms belong to international students.