Whitehorse City Council

Student Accommodation Study

The Victorian student population is growing overall and is a major export driver in the Victorian economy. In 2016, the sector generated $7.1 billion in export revenue for the State and supported over 30,000 Victorian jobs. The City of Whitehorse captures a proportion of this due to the presence of two key tertiary institutions;

  • Box Hill Institute (approximately 37,000 students in 2018); and
  • Deakin University (approximately 28,000 students in 2018).

Students live in a range of accommodation types ranging from on-campus residential colleges which are strictly managed, to informal and unmanaged housing on the open market. These different types of housing vary in location, design, quality, the facilities provided for students and built-form outcomes.

The first Whitehorse Student Accommodation Strategy was done in 2006 and resulted in a Policy at Clause 22.14 of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme. After using the existing policy for nearly 10 years and in light of the growth in the municipality’s student population, it was considered necessary to undertake a wider investigation of issues perceived to be associated with accommodation of students in Whitehorse and do a review of the current local policy in the planning scheme.

The study resulted in a pdf icon Background Document (12.08MB) that explores a range of issues including:

  • Current and future housing needs;
  • Accommodation types;
  • Design and amenity;
  • Traffic and car parking;
  • Access;
  • Private and communal open space;
  • The regulatory framework
  • Student welfare, and
  • General amenity.

A Student Accommodation Strategy has also been produced which identifies strategies and recommendations for managing these issues. Both of these documents inform a revised Local Policy for Clause 22.14 of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.

At its pdf icon meeting on 20 August 2018 (67.88kB) Council resolved to adopt the pdf icon City of Whitehorse Student Accommodation Strategy (603.92kB) and to initiate a planning scheme amendment to update the Student Accommodation Local Policy at Clause 22.14 of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.

Next steps

Once Council has Authorisation from the Minister to prepare and exhibit a planning scheme amendment the proposed changes to the planning scheme will be publicly exhibited, providing the opportunity for public comment.

Further Information

For further information regarding the Student Accommodation Study, please contact Council’s Strategic Planning Unit at strategic.planning@whitehorse.vic.gov.au or on 9262 6303.

Further information regarding Shared Accommodation Housing, such as rooming/boarding houses, residential accommodation, student dormitories and hostels and the associated legislative requirements and guidelines associated with running these facilities, are available on our Shared Accommodation Housing page.