PEI

Demand for on-campus housing up in Charlottetown amid low vacancy rates

With off-campus rental housing in short supply in Charlottetown, both UPEI and Holland College say they have seen big demand for on-campus housing for the upcoming fall semester.

Both UPEI and Holland College have wait lists for residence rooms this fall

There are about 100 people on the wait list for on-campus housing at UPEI for the upcoming school year. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

With off-campus rental housing in short supply in Charlottetown, both the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College say they have seen big demand for on-campus housing for the upcoming fall semester.

Charlottetown has a record-low vacancy rate of just 0.9 per cent, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

At UPEI, there is a wait list of about 100 people who want a spot in a residence, said Jonathan Oliver, the school's director of ancillary services. That's up significantly from just three years ago.

Residences at UPEI are currently all full, with a significantly longer wait list than three years ago. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

"As of right now, we would like to refer to it as we are 100 per cent occupied," he said.

He said there is still a chance spots might become available in early September, and a staff person is dedicated to working with students to help them find alternative places to live.

New residence not enough to meet demand

Holland College said it's also seen an increase in the number of students living on-campus due to the low vacancy rates in Charlottetown. It will open a new 80-bed residence this fall. All of the beds in the new residence and the existing one are spoken for, and there is a wait list.

"We definitely needed the additional capacity," said Michael O'Grady, a vice-president with the college. "A bed to sleep in is just as important as a seat in a classroom."

Holland College will open a new 80-bed residence this fall, but it is already full with a wait list. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Homestay Program, which is aimed at international students, is also seeing an increase in applications.

"It has been a growing program," said P.E.I. program coordinator Amy Palmer. "Even two years ago, we probably only had 15 to 20 students. Last year we placed close to 30. This year I am hoping to get 35 to 40 placements."

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About the Author

Nakshi is a reporter with CBC News, currently in Charlottetown. She has previously worked in WInnipeg, St. John's and Toronto.

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