PEI

Housing expensive and in short supply for students, survey finds

University students can take weeks or months to find a place to live, according to a recent survey by the UPEI Student Union, and spend big chunk of their income on rent when they find it.

Vacancy rate just 0.9% in Charlottetown

For Rent sign at 100 per cent occupied outside a property in Vancouver's West End.
UPEI students are having a hard time finding housing, according to a UPEI Student Union survey. (David Horemans/CBC)

University students can take weeks or months to find a place to live, according to a recent survey by the UPEI Student Union, and spend big chunk of their income on rent when they find it.

The survey had about 250 responses. The student union put together the survey in response to very low vacancy rates in the province, and in Charlottetown in particular.

The vacancy rate is just 0.9 per cent in the capital city, according to the latest information from CMHC.

Emma Drake, vice-president academic and external for the student union, said the survey's respondents were on average paying two thirds of their income out for rent.

The student union would like a place on the new provincial housing council, says Emma Drake. (CBC)

"That's a lot of fiscal burden on their shoulders and it's a big stressor," said Drake.

"Because students had to spend so much time working in order to pay for their housing that took a lot of time away from their academics and their ability to study."

Drake said the student union wants to have a representative on the province's recently announced housing council.

She said the student union wants to look at what some of the barriers to housing in Charlottetown are. She wonders in particular about short-term rentals, such as AirBnB, and whether regulations are needed.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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