Campaign forces university into negotiations on student housing

Eviction notices given to student occupiers in the Student Housing Action Collective (SHAC) at Melbourne University have been withdrawn, with the university re-entering negotiations with the students.

SHAC has been occupying a disused university-owned building at 278 Faraday street since August, demanding that it be converted into much-needed student housing.

The victory in forcing the university back to negations follows a strong show of public support at a rally held on November 28.

More than 100 students and union activists marched to the office of University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Glyn Davis to deliver a letter from Brian Boyd, secretary Victorian Trades Hall Council.

The letter advised the university that unions would meet and consider action if an attempt is made to evict homeless students at SHAC. There were union flags on the rally from the ASU, NTEU, CEPU, Unite and Union Solidarity.

Despite the reprieve over eviction, the fight to turn the occupied building into a student-run housing co-operative is not won yet. An ongoing campaign mobilising students and their supporters will be needed to pile pressure on the university to act on delivering affordable student housing.

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