‘Disappointing arguments:’ College of Halifax college students struggling to search out housing

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The dearth of housing for college kids each on and off campus has been alarming for college kids attempting to assist the College of Nova Scotia workers and pupil unions.

With solely three weeks to go for courses to begin, the state of affairs is wanting grim.

Victoria Gibbs, president of the scholar union at King’s Faculty (UKC) College in Halifax, mentioned there are nonetheless many first-year college students on the lookout for lodging.

“They’re arriving with determined pleas like, ‘Please, have you learnt somebody you’ll be able to add me to? I am on the lookout for a roommate and I am on the lookout for a spot to dwell. I am not in wherever Can go,'” Gibbs mentioned.

“Halifax merely does not have sufficient housing, each on-campus and off-campus, to be reasonably priced and accessible to college students.”

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Gibbs has been in King’s Pupil Union (KSU) in different roles over time, and has by no means seen such numbers of scholars earlier than the college yr started.

Gibbs mentioned that in COVID-19, a minimum of a number of rooms within the UKC had been reserved as “isolation rooms” however have been eliminated this faculty yr.

“Each single room is totally full,” she mentioned. “They’ve turned any room right into a double room, right into a double room. They’ve maximized their potential on campus.”

Gibbs additionally mentioned that King’s campus has by no means had such excessive yr college students.

There are presently 15 first-year college students on the college’s on-campus housing waitlist, though many extra are looking for off-campus housing.

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The problem just isn’t distinctive to King’s college students both.

From Cape Breton to Yarmouth, all 14 campuses of Nova Scotia Group Faculty (NSCC) are in the identical boat.

Cousin Kennedy, NSCC supervisor of housing, mentioned there are a selection of issues with housing.

“We’re seeing a barely increased rise in housing costs, with some property homeowners exiting the rental market … and interesting in different kinds of rental or promoting household properties,” Kennedy mentioned.

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In an effort to handle the housing scarcity, Kennedy mentioned NSCC has known as on its alumni, who’ve spare rooms, to think about hiring an NSCC pupil.

“It is an incredible alternative to actually welcome the people who find themselves right here, who’re devoted to enhancing themselves.”

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NSCC has partnered with the provincial authorities to construct new housing on three campuses within the coming years, two in Dartmouth and one in Pictou.

Kennedy estimates that these amenities will likely be prepared in 2024 and 2025.

KSU’s Victoria Gibbs mentioned the NSCC, just like the Kings, reached out to the neighborhood in an effort to accommodate its college students.

He mentioned that affordability lies on the root of the problem.

“It is extraordinarily worrying … folks in Halifax who do not usually have entry to housing, they usually’re struggling to search out it, aren’t those who can see these new residence buildings pop up.”

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Gibbs mentioned King’s housing workforce is requesting anybody in Halifax who can assist do the identical.

“Anybody, if alumni, members of the neighborhood, are folks dwelling in and round HRM who could have a basement residence or an extra room with the power to hire to college students.”

“I promise you, we’re a small faculty with a close-knit neighborhood. Our college students are superb and respectable… Please contact us and we’ll see if we will make it work.”

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