Affordable, Quality Student Accommodation

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Ask any parent and they will tell you that paying tuition for a child at university is only one of the expenses associated with tertiary education. Housing an out-of-town student in rental accommodation for the duration of their studies is what really puts a dent in parents’ pockets. One company has seen the gap in this very lucrative area of the market and has made a determined effort to ensure that students can not only find reasonably priced accommodation, but that these properties offer everything the modern-day student requires.

Rob Wesselo, managing partner of International Housing Solutions (IHS), the global private equity provider at the forefront of affordable housing investment in SA, said that the company is steadfastly building up a portfolio of new-generation student housing solutions in the country's major urban centres.

"In the past year, we have made several improvements to the Studentdigz portfolio, which will further improve the quality of life of students in 2013."

Wesselo said that Studentdigz now boasts:

• Its own sponsored football team, the Amadigzdigz.

• New secure entrances with biometric access at all buildings.

• An aesthetically sleek, functioning canteen and convenience store at the Precinct.

• New renovated units at Lowliebenhof, YMCA and Argyle House.

• New and renovated chill areas at YMCA, Argyle House and the Precinct.

Accredited by both the University of Johannesburg and Wits, Studentdigz also has an elected Student Representative Council, which looks after the interests of the student tenants.

Hundreds of units in the Studentdigz portfolio have become available for rental in 2013, providing much-needed stock to address the shortage of quality student housing. The Studentdigz portfolio provides 1 900 accommodation options in seven developments in Braamfontein. Rentals start at R1900.

Studentdigz differs from other student developments in that it is not based on the dormitory-style model. All apartments are self-contained, which means students have their own bathrooms, kitchens and living spaces and, most importantly, privacy and quiet to ensure successful studies.

Wesselo says that although the latest offering is based in Johannesburg, the company also provides upmarket student accommodation to those studying at the University of the Free State. The company began focusing on developing affordable student accommodation three years ago, and although the development in the Free State was built from scratch, the project in Johannesburg has involved the revamp of older buildings.

Not surprisingly, the initiative has proved to be very popular with both parents and students. There is a distinct shortage of quality student accommodation in this country and knowing that their child is housed in a secure, well-administered development must come as a welcome relief to parents. The days of paying vast sums of money on less desirable properties are certainly going to be a thing of the past for many attending universities in the Johannesburg area.

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