Students at Limassol’s Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) were on Monday handed the keys to the first batch of rooms at the newly completed Apollonia hall, built by the archbishopric near the Tsirio stadium to offer low cost housing in a city where affordable accommodation is difficult to find.
The first 180 student rooms were made available on Monday, with another 110 to be handed over by the end of the week.
Rent is €250 a month for furnished accommodation which also includes internet, electricity, water, parking and common expenses. Students are selected based on a point system.
“Today we are delivering a significant project to Cypriot society,” said Stelios Georgiou, who heads the archbishopric’s technical services and property unit.
“The church is showing its support to vulnerable groups in a practical way and we are supporting them with very low, subsidised rent,” he said.
On site, there will be a mini market, a gym, a multi-purpose hall, laundry facilities and a study room. A café restaurant will be ready in the next three to four months, he added.
Tepak academic affairs and students’ welfare director Vasilis Protopas thanked the archbishopric and the archbishop who had taken a personal interest in the project.
“This is a beautiful day for the university and our students,” he said. It was a major feat that the accommodation had been completed in time for the new academic year, he added.
“This is very important because it allows us to offer low cost accommodation to students and this is already reflected in the fact that we have a 25 per cent increase in students this year.”
All requests from students with low income families were met, he added.
The location of the new student hall combined with Tepak’s future development plans at the former Berengaria housing area at Kato Polemidhia is expected to expand the university beyond the town centre.
There will be buses for the students and schedules will include night buses.
The first student to receive keys to his apartment was Antonis Antoniades, who said the initiative would help resolve the accommodation problem facing students. He said that rents at the new hall were significantly below the monthly €550 to €600 students have to pay elsewhere.
On Sunday, Archbishop Chrysostomos visited the accommodation to see the completed project.