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UCT appeals to Cape community to thwart student housing crisis

Written by: Qama Qukula

The student housing crisis appears to be escalating in the Mother City.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has appealed to home owners in the Southern Suburbs to help ease the current shortfall of accommodation.

At the same time, there are reports that some students at Cape Peninsula University of Technology's (CPUT) Wellington campus have resorted to sleeping on the floor of campus store rooms.

UCT's Deputy Vice Chancellor for transformation, Professor Loretta Feris, says high rental prices have made off-campus accommodation prohibitive for vulnerable students.

The spaces are pegged at a rate that is so high that it becomes unaffordable for our students. That's why student end up sleeping on the floor. That's what we're trying to alleviate.

Prof Loretta Feris, UCT's Deputy Vice Chancellor for transformation

UCT's Off Campus Student Accommodation Service (Ocsas) office links students up with affordable accommodation through their database of local landlords.

Feris explains that university has asked property owners to make accommodation cheaper (rooms in the region of R3000 - R4000 per month) and consider waiving their deposits.

She says that the appeal for cheaper accommodation has already resulted in an additional 45 beds over the weekend and she hopes to see more property owners drop their rental prices.

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