DigsConnect.com, the largest student housing marketplace in South Africa, will help university students from low-income backgrounds secure safe and affordable accommodations through funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

As a result of this partnership, DigsConnect.com is rolling out an initiative called #1000digs, where DigsConnect.com will be setting up a specialised programme to assist NSFAS and bursary-funded students in South Africa looking for accommodation.

Assistance includes hands-on support from their team and a brand-new dedicated legal support line for these students, many of whom, upon signing their lease, will be entering into their first legal agreement.

“Safe and affordable accommodations are essential to a successful university experience. However, the inability to find appropriate housing creates additional barriers for students who are already managing new uncertainties in university life. The partnership with DigsConnect.com further allows students to be integrated into supportive communities while away from home, creating opportunity for them to focus on and succeed in their studies,” says Dr Thashlin Govender, programme director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

“Greg Ramsay-Keal and I started DigsConnect.com as a student leader at UCT, committed to solving the student housing crises that our peers were caught in the middle of,” says Alexandria Procter, CEO and cofounder of DigsConnect.com. “From the ‘Shackville’ protest, when the problems seemed insurmountable, to being awarded this incredible grant by MSDF, we’re working hard to ensure that no student in South Africa is homeless, and that everyone who walks through the gates of a University or College in South Africa leaves with their degree.”

Any NSFAS or bursary funded students looking for student housing assistance, can reach out to DigsConnect.com via their website, or on hello@digsconnect.com. If you’re a landlord looking to find student tenants, you can create a property listing on DigsConnect.com by visiting their website.

As the 2021 academic year draws to a close, the question for thousands of students is “where am I going to stay in 2022?”. The student housing crises in South Africa has been well publicised, with DigsConnect releasing a report in 2020 going into detail about the challenges in the sector.

DigsConnect has connected over 65 000 landlords and students since their launch in January 2018, and lists tens of thousands of beds across South Africa.