Enrollment into Western and Fanshawe have only been on an up-hill slope for the past decade. Western guarantees every first year student on-campus accommodation if they want it and to keep pace with the increased enrollment they built Ontario Hall a couple years ago.
But has their been enough attention paid to off-campus housing?
Canada Housing and Mortage Corp. analyst, Erica McLerie says London is a little behind compared to some of the other university towns closer to Toronto.
“There has been 2 off-campus student focused developments in London recently, which is significantly behind somewhere like Waterloo” she says.
Cassie Marshall works for Exclusive Rentals in London, “Students are going to be the ones who will end up paying for the lack of quality off-campus student housing options.Either they will have to sacrifice location to campus, they may have to pay more in rent, or they will have to settle an over-priced sub-par house.”
The two developments combine to accommodate just over 1000 students here in London, that in comparison to Waterloo that has seen student centered housing grow by almost 13,000 rooms in the past 10 years.
“When the demand is high, and the supply is low, the rental prices will soar because they can get away with it.” Marshall added.
Fanshawe College student Nicole Salter is worried about the a potential price hike, “For me, how much I am paying in rent is the most important factor when deciding. I worry that to find a house in my price range I will end up having to look far away from campus.”
Glenn Matthews, Western’s off-campus housing Mediator says London will be responsive to enrollment rates, “There will be projects coming. Students have a good supply of housing, for the most part they have a lot of choice.”