‘It’s just ridiculous’: Post-secondary students struggling to find and afford housing on Vancouver Island


Less than a month away from the fall semester starting, many Vancouver Island post-secondary students are struggling to find a place to live.

The high cost of living along with a low tenancy rate has put many students in a bind on where they are going to stay.

Currently, Vancouver Island is experiencing historically low vacancies and rental rates above the national average.

Sam Tyson, a Kinesiology student at Camosun College, is one of the lucky ones. He did find a place, but only after being forced to leave his previous home due to a rent hike.

“They are raising the rent to $1,250 before utilities just for a room. It’s just ridiculous finding somewhere to live,” said Tyson.

According to recent reports, rent for a one-bedroom unit in Victoria is still above $2,000 a month.  Many students try to get into student housing to avoid the housing rental market, but not all are successful.

Vancouver Island University announced back in September of 2021 that there would be funding of $87.8 million given to the campus in order to build an additional 266 rooms to accommodate the influx in students.

Even with more housing on the way, it’s not enough. Michael Witcomb from VIU housing is actively trying to help students find housing off-campus to help mitigate the headache to find a place to stay.

“Through a campaign program, we appeal to the local community through social media and through lawn signs to open up a room in their house to accommodate more students,” said Witcomb.

Karin Kirkpatrick, the critic to the minister of housing, wants the government to spend more money quicker to accommodate the shortages.

“We have to build more housing. Not just housing in universities but around universities,” she said. “This government promised 8,000 student units and so far have built 2,800. We are really falling behind.”

RELATED: Nanaimo family moving to Alberta as housing crisis, inflation continues


Tchadas LeoTchadas Leo

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!