Study Reveals Students in Canada Pay 25% More for Housing Than the Rest of Renters

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Sep 15, 2022

student room in dormitory.jpg

Students in Canada pay 25 percent more for rent compared to the rest of renters in the country, a survey conducted by conducted by the Unité de travail pour l'implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE), a Québec non-profit organization specializing in affordable accommodation for students, has revealed.

The median monthly rent that students in Canada paid in 2021 was $1250, some 25 percent higher than the median monthly rent that the general population in the country paid, Erudera.com reports.

The Fostering Learning and Awareness on Student Housing (FLASH) survey, which involved 18,000 students asking them about their housing, has also discovered that seven out of ten, or 70 percent of students, spend over 30 percent of their yearly income on rent; thus, the reports states that this puts students in a "precarious financial and housing situation."

In Ontario and British Columbia, 87 percent and 86 percent of students, respectively, spend over 30 percent of their income on housing.

"What we're seeing is that across the country the lack of affordable housing near educational institutions is forcing students to rent apartments which exceed their ability to pay. This drastically increases student debt and threatens accessibility to higher education," Laurent Levesque, executive director of UTILE, said in a press release.

The situation is critical in the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver, where students pay $1,800 for rent, meaning that the latter must allocate over half of their budget only to pay for housing.

The majority of students in Canada earn $20,000 or less annually. According to the survey's data, students with higher annual incomes are more likely to live alone, whereas nearly three out of four students who participated in the study said they live in shared housing.

International students in Canada have also been affected by the housing crisis in the country. In the province of Halifax, many of them have had difficulty securing a place to stay, mentioning the high prices as the reason they could not find accommodation.

UTILE's executive director highlighted the importance that attracting international students has for Canada's economic and scientific vitality, adding that the country hasn't built enough student apartments in the past ten years to offer accommodation to 400,000 more students.

"In the absence of an adequate supply of student apartments to welcome them, these students have turned to the private rental market, creating significant pressure on the housing market in the process," Levesque said.

>> Canada Welcomed Almost Half a Million International Students in 2021

About 1.5 million university students in Canada were renters in 2021. Approximately 1.3 million of them lived in apartments on the private market.

>> Canada Eases Rules for International Students as They Face Visa Delays

Photo by Norbert Levajsics | Unsplash

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