I think the UCSA should start putting money away for a long term project to buy student flats around the university. This would take some time to accomplish (think 20 years), and require some long term, multi-exec commitment.
The advantages of this would be (1) students would be contributing to the growth of housing stock, rather than just paying landlords (2) once the UCSA had a critical mass of housing, it would begin to dictate the prices and quality that students come to expect in the Ilam area, and force landlords to compete, among others.
Imagine if the rent you paid went back into improving and expanding housing stock in the community. We would have healthier places to live, push down and continue to keep rents low.
The UCSA is uniquely positioned with a large balance sheet to do something that would benefit many students directly or indirectly, and improve the health and wellbeing of the next few generations of students to come.
Kia Ora, thanks so much for your suggestion. Unfortunately, because this suggestion did not receive a positive tally of upvotes and downvotes, it will not be progressed further. Additionally, in light of paying off our $30m building, taking on this additional debt and the associated interest is unfortunately not something we are able to justify using student dollar for in this current economic climate. If you do have any further questions, please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ngā mihi!