Demand for on-campus housing up in Charlottetown amid low vacancy rates
Both UPEI and Holland College have wait lists for residence rooms this fall
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.
"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."
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."