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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

9 Aug 2023

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Calgary’s Student Housing Crisis: On-Campus Residences Maxed Out

The ripple effects of Calgary’s student housing crisis are becoming increasingly evident as the city’s primary educational institutions grapple with a shortage of on-campus accommodations. With the fall 2023 semester on the horizon, students are facing the brunt of this crisis. Leading to a scramble for housing solutions.

The Heart of Calgary’s Student Housing Crisis

Calgary’s stringent rental market has now extended its reach to the city’s post-secondary campuses. Institutions like the University of Calgary, SAIT, and Mount Royal University (MRU) are at the epicenter of Calgary’s student housing crisis.

Their on-campus residences are fully booked, and the waitlists continue to grow, painting a concerning picture for incoming students.

Calgary's Student Housing Crisis

Mark Keller, the director of residence services at MRU, highlighted the severity of the situation. “This is unprecedented,” he remarked, emphasizing the challenges of accommodating the influx of students seeking on-campus housing.

The residence towers that cater to SAIT and the Alberta University of Arts are a testament to this. Being fully occupied with over a thousand students, and an additional 100 hopefuls waiting in the wings.

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Navigating Crisis: Alternative Solutions

Given the magnitude of Calgary’s student housing crisis, institutions are urging students to tread carefully when exploring off-campus accommodations. SAIT, in particular, has emphasized the importance of due diligence in the current competitive rental landscape.

The University of Calgary, facing its own challenges with a waitlist of 740 students. It is actively bridging the gap between students and off-campus housing opportunities.

In a proactive move, the university has placed ads in community newsletters, appealing to Calgary residents to consider renting out vacant rooms to students in need.

Additionally, online platforms like SpacesShared.ca and Places4Students.ca are being spotlighted as potential lifelines. Connecting students with available rental spaces or potential roommates.

Calgary's Student Housing Crisis

MRU, while closely monitoring the evolving dynamics of Calgary’s student housing crisis, is mulling over the possibility of temporary housing solutions. This could serve as a respite for students left in the lurch.

Keller pinpointed the crux of the issue, stating, “The main driving factor is the rental market in Calgary. Students, who might have previously considered off-campus options, are now finding it increasingly challenging to secure affordable accommodations.”

As Calgary’s student housing crisis intensifies, it underscores the need for collaborative solutions. Whether it’s universities ramping up their housing infrastructure.

The private sector stepping in with affordable rental options, or the government introducing student-friendly housing policies, a multi-pronged approach is essential.

Only then can the city effectively address the challenges of Calgary’s student housing crisis and ensure that every student has a roof over their head.

Calgary’s Student Housing Crisis: On-Campus Residences Maxed Out