Anxious students call for urgent action to ease rental crunch

For the next year, this is what Alexandra Mussar will call home: a cramped bedroom with water damage and dysfunctional sinks, in a house shared with six other students. For this, she’s paying $840 every month.

This isn’t how she pictured her university housing experience, but after six long months hunting for somewhere to live, she says she felt she had to settle.

There were no other options. This was my last resort, she said. It was either that or I was couch surfing for the next year.

Across the country, students are sharing similar stories. The soaring rents that have hit some of Canada’s biggest  (new window)cities have also walloped college and university towns, with little relief in sight. Take Guelph, Ont., where the latest data (new window) shows the average cost for a one bedroom apartment has spiked to $2,095 per month in June, up 27 per cent from the same time last year.

Rents have also soared in Victoria, Kingston, Ont., and Halifax amid stiff competition. And while students can lower their costs by sharing housing, even those rents can be staggering, posing a serious challenge for those planning for the fall.

Read the article here.

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