Edmonton post-secondary students navigate higher costs, lower availability of housing as school year begins

As post-secondary students begin to move into dorm rooms and apartments across Edmonton, many are figuring out how to manage the high cost of living.

Price is making an impact on where students can live, and they’re also feeling the impact of an increased cost of living.

According to surveys by the University of Alberta, more than 200 students at the Edmonton post-secondary institution have had to sleep in places that are not safe, such as their vehicles, while at least 400 of them have had to sleep somewhere on campus because they didn’t have another place to stay.

“And they’re having to choose between food, between rent and you’re seeing some students choose food but as a result sleep in their cars or in unsafe situations,” Chris Beasley, the chair of the Council of Alberta University Students, told CTV News Edmonton adding enrolment at the U of A is projected to increase by 40 per cent in the next 10 years.

“And as that happens, there are going to be more and more students competing for the rental supply and housing supply. Students need housing, and they need rentals near their university.”

There is more housing being added at the U of A. A new apartment tower, called the Laurent, recently opened in the Garneau neighbourhood close to the U of A’s main campus. Rates there range from $890 to $1,600 per month.

“We’re providing more and more availability for housing for students,” said Bill Blais of Maclab Development Group, builder, owner and manager of the new housing complex. “That’s going to allow lots of other students to occupy other product types out there.”

For the first year since MacEwan University opened it in 2005, its 846-bed residence is fully occupied and even has a waitlist.

MacEwan says it has been able to offer the same rates since 2020 with the average cost of $775 per month.

“Look around where the closest apartments are, this would be a lot cheaper in the long term,” said student Lei Stantiago. “Rent anywhere right now is expensive. What are you going to do? It’s either you move out and it’s expensive, or you’re here (in residence) and it’s expensive.”

The U of A says there is temporary emergency housing available for students who can’t find accommodation they can afford. 

Originally Appeared Here

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