Housing markets leave many students scrambling for accommodations

September 3, 2014

This week, many PSE students are moving into new homes. However, some students studying in cities with low vacancy rates are struggling to find accommodations. In Vancouver, a 1.7% vacancy rate, along with high rental prices, have made it difficult to find housing near the university. Calgary students are facing a similar situation. Even with some of the country’s most prohibitive zoning laws regarding rentals, the city’s vacancy rate is just 1.4%. The demand means landlords are often overwhelmed with applications, and are able to take their pick of tenants. Students, meanwhile, might find themselves considering—or unknowingly renting—an illegal suite just to get a roof over their heads. Things aren’t much better in Edmonton, which has a comparable vacancy rate to Calgary's as a result of an influx of workers migrating to the province. In all cases, PSE institutions are working to create residence spaces, but limited resources and capacity can make doing so a challenge. Parents, too, are getting creative; some are even buying condo units for their PSE-aged students, particularly for out-of-province students. The purchase is seen as a long-term investment that also ensures students have a safe, comfortable place to live. Vancouver Sun | Calgary Herald | Edmonton Journal | Ottawa Citizen