Students complain about mushrooms and mould in UOW on-campus accommodation

A photo of mould and a bright yellow mushroom growing in an on-campus shower at Kooloobong. Picture: Sarah Young.
A photo of mould and a bright yellow mushroom growing in an on-campus shower at Kooloobong. Picture: Sarah Young.

Dozens of University of Wollongong students have taken to social media to complain about 'unhealthy' mould and mushrooms growing in their on-campus lodgings.

On Sunday, Kooloobong resident Sarah Young posted a photo of her $260-a-week rental, showing a bright yellow mushroom growing from a mould-covered corner in her bathroom.

“Know anyone thinking of moving into Kooloobong Village Building 37 next year, or thinking of coming over on exchange?,” she wrote.

"Well don't. Second mushroom in nine months growing in one of the showers.

“They are all filled with mould and probably killing us slowly. $260 a week is a rip off."

Hundreds of students responded to her Facebook post, with some past students saying the same conditions had persisted for years.

Others said they had raised concerns about mould and damp in previous years, asking the university to reduce their rent while the problems were fixed.

Faced with the students' concerns, the university said it “regretted” that it had not been advised of the mould issues earlier

“The University of Wollongong is committed to providing quality accommodation for students living on campus and is very concerned about the issues raised in recent days regarding some of the old units at Kooloobong Village,” a spokesman said.

“The original Kooloobong village units are among UOW’s oldest accommodation buildings and, like all ageing buildings, are prone to persistent maintenance issues. The University regrets staff were not advised of these issues earlier and has now arranged to have inspections conducted of these buildings to identify any other unreported maintenance issues.”

UOW pointed out it was investing in upgrading and expanding accommodation, noting 800 extra beds would be built at Kooloobong Village by next year. 

”A progressive refurbishment of these old Kooloobong Village units is due to commence later this month,” the spokesman said. 

“This will include new bathrooms, kitchens, carpets and repainting as well as plumbing inspections and upgrades where required. As part of the refurbishment, an expert consultant is being engaged to help resolve recurring problems associated with moisture and ventilation.”