2022 Canada: finding student accommodation “traumatising”


It was troublesome to seek for Halifax residences from her house nation. After a protracted battle, she lastly discovered a modest loft by connections within the Bangladeshi neighborhood.

“The housing market in Halifax is unfair to its personal residents not to mention us worldwide college students,” the graduate pupil in worldwide growth instructed The PIE Information. “For many people, looking is a traumatising expertise that ends in bodily and psychological misery.”

“Looking is a traumatising expertise that ends in bodily and psychological misery”

Worldwide college students face an uphill climb in competing with Canadian candidates for housing. Many landlords need references from earlier condominium leases or credit score scores, which abroad college students might not have.

As well as, rents are hovering throughout the nation as a consequence of restricted provide, making residences out of attain for college kids on a price range.

It’s a problem going through worldwide college students in all places, whether or not they’re finding out in massive cities akin to Toronto and Vancouver or smaller cities. There’s a scarcity of housing in nearly each place that has a post-secondary establishment.

Sadly, worldwide college students are normally unfamiliar with the Canadian rental market and determined to search out lodging, making them simple marks for scammers, mentioned Dania Majid of the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario in Toronto.

Students have responded to apartment-for-rent advertisements on-line and paid deposits of $3,000 or extra – solely to search out that the individual promoting the condominium was not the owner and that there was no emptiness. The scammer disappears after amassing the cash.

Majid warned that worldwide college students ought to be on guard when trying to find an condominium. “In the event that they see a deal that’s too good to be true that may be a purple flag. If the individual is asking for cash earlier than seeing the rental unit that may be a massive purple flag.”

She encourages college students to hunt recommendation from their college or faculty housing workplace. “If a world pupil thinks they’ve been scammed, they will contact their area people authorized clinic for help.”

It isn’t an issue distinctive to Canada, with Eire, the Netherlands, Australia and the UK seeing housing issues of their very own.

However in some Canadian communities, revolutionary options are being proposed.

The College of Regina in Saskatchewan is bundling tuition and housing for each home and worldwide college students in a reduced bundle referred to as “The Really Big Deal”. For worldwide college students, the varsity says the financial savings might quantity to $21,000 over the 4 years of an undergraduate diploma.

“For college students looking for to dwell off campus, the alternatives are very slim,” mentioned Haroon Chaudhry, appearing affiliate vice-president of worldwide at Regina. “This typically leaves them to decide on between extraordinarily excessive rental prices that proceed to extend, their security and well-being, and proximity and/or entry to important providers.

“When college students select to take the Actually Massive Deal alternative, they’re selecting their neighborhood, their schooling, and enhancing their safety and well-being.”

Within the province of Québec, the non-profit organisation UTILE is devoted to constructing housing to fulfill the wants of scholars. It has 5 buildings both constructed or within the pipeline in Montréal, Québec Metropolis and Trois Rivières.


Umme Mim Mohsin has referred to as on establishments to supply extra help.

Nonetheless, UTILE will solely have 715 residences within the province. Montréal alone has greater than 320,000 post-secondary college students, together with 37,000 from abroad.

For Alex Usher, of the consulting agency Higher Education Strategy Associates, a scarcity of housing might restrict Canada’s capability to extend the variety of worldwide college students coming every year. Moreover, he expects political pushback as moderate-income Canadians battle to search out lodging whereas being squeezed out.

“Some establishments have been packing in college students with out regard to native housing provide, which contributes to the steep rise in housing prices not only for worldwide college students, however for all renters and first-time house consumers,” Usher mentioned.

Take Kingston, Ontario for instance. It’s a small metropolis that’s house to greater than 30,000 college students who attend Queen’s College and St. Lawrence School. The rental lodging emptiness charge is simply 0.6% – whereas a charge of three% is taken into account wholesome.

“Some establishments have been packing in college students with out regard to native housing provide”

Queen’s ensures first-year college students (each home and worldwide) a spot in its dormitory residences. Nonetheless, higher yr college students and grad college students are totally on their very own. The personal sector is developing a lot of student-oriented condominium buildings close to campus, however little is being achieved to assist low-income Canadian renters. The outcome: A rising drawback of homelessness for Kingstonians with no well-paying job.

For Mohsin of Halifax, post-secondary establishments must do rather more than recruit college students – they need to assist with housing. “The schools we got here right here to attend solely give us recommendation. The college, the provincial authorities and the town all must work collectively to make us really feel welcome.


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