ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, together with Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh and ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young officially opened the newest ANU student accommodation, Lena Karmel Lodge on Tuesday 6th March. The latest addition to the three existing Unilodge accommodation buildings will house 550 students as well as provide a small gym, a cafeteria and conference facilities.
Similar to ANU’s Warrambul Lodge and the Laurus Wing at Ursula Hall, Lena Karmel Lodge which is located at the City West Precinct, and forms part of the ANU Exchange, will be supported by the ACT and Commonwealth governments through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
To that end, the Chief Minister declared that Lena Karmel Lodge delivers “an affordable accommodation option at a discounted rent of at least 20 per cent below the market rate. This means that studying in Canberra remains an attractive option for current and future students”.
Dr Leigh further echoed these sentiments. “Significant additions of student accommodation are not only important to the ANU, but also bolster Canberra’s reputation as one of Australia’s leading cities for obtaining further educations”.
“Education is Canberra’s second largest export, and these extra beds mean we can continue to attract and educate Australia’s future workforce, while freeing up rental properties for other Canberrans”, he added.
Minister for Housing Brendan O’Connor also acknowledged that Lena Karmel Lodge was part of the Gillard Government’s $4.3 billion investment to increase the supply of affordable housing across the nation through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“The Gillard Government recognises that people are struggling to find rental properties around Australia”.
“That’s why we are helping to build 50,000 new rental properties nationwide, allowing households to save thousands of dollars each year in rent”, Mr O’Connor said.
Perhaps the only thing that marred the official opening was the string of fire alarms besetting residents since officially opening its doors to residents. Woroni understands that fire alarms went off on at least six occasions within the past week while on the day of the opening itself, residents were treated to an unexpected fire alarm at 4.30am in the morning.