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245 students still on waitlist for U of G residence

U of G will be putting 50 students in the Days Inn on Gordon Street, but no more hotel space is expected
Entrance to the University of Guelph east residence building.

Students still on the waitlist for a spot in residence at the University of Guelph campus are still left waiting.

There are 245 students currently on the waitlist and they can receive their $750 deposit back at any time if they want to be removed from the waitlist, says the U of G.

Traditionally, there are 4,600 spots on residence. By converting double rooms to triples, converting lounges and common areas to bedrooms they were able to add an additional 400 spots.

There are now a total of 5,100 students and residence staff who will be living on campus come September.

To help students find housing off campus, the U of G contacted local hotels for additional residence capacity. They have made an agreement with the Days Inn on Gordon Street and 50 students will be living there this year. No additional hotel spaces are expected, said Kimberly Moser, news service manager at the U of G.

The university has also suggested off campus housing through The Alma (the former Holiday Inn) on Scottsdale Drive. Although the housing development is geared towards students, it is not affiliated with the university. It is accepting applications but lease agreements are to start Nov. 1.

An international student from Jordan, Yousef Alsayeh, said he had a problem with his deposit money and had to withdraw his place on the waitlist for a spot in residence. 

He said it has been difficult finding a place to live off campus and some places can’t give virtual tours. He is set to move to Canada and his flights are booked to arrive August 26, with classes starting two weeks later.

“I really do need a place to stay,” said Alsayeh. “I’m trying all options right now.”

He said other international students he has talked to also don’t have a place to stay or have found housing but don’t have an extra bedroom for him to stay in.

He said the university has been helpful with everything other than housing.

“I’m kind of scared regarding the housing situation, that’s it,” said Alsayeh.

Sophia Pell will be starting her first year at the U of G in September. At one point she was 95th on the waitlist. Pell lives in Elora and there is no public transportation to Guelph.

As of Wednesday she and three friends from Elora found a four bedroom, two bathroom house, an eight minute drive to campus in Guelph, for $2,700 with no utilities included. 

Pell’s parents had to sign the lease since the 18 year old has a low credit score and has no previous landlord references.

“It’s very competitive. I’ve contacted people and it’s been over 100 applicants for each place I’ve contacted. A lot of them have even upped the rent after we applied and we genuinely could not afford it,” said Pell.

She said she was devastated when she found out she didn’t get a spot in residence, especially since she wanted the same campus experience her older sister had.

“I was so excited for the past year to be able to live in residence and that was my main goals and motivations during school,” she said.

When she went on tours of the university campus, tour guides reiterated, first year students are guaranteed housing, said Pell.

“You have to live up to what you promise,” she said.

A Guelph landlord who is renting out her three bedroom, one bathroom family home for $2,700 a month with no utilities included, has seen an influx of interest from students and their parents.

About 60 per cent of the interested renters are U of G students, said Samantha van der Beek.

She had to stop taking interested applicants because she received too many to handle. She has over 20 viewings scheduled for the home on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

“Certainly, that one particular mother who’s driving her daughter and some friends around Guelph trying to check out homes, that seemed particularly frustrated at the housing situation was kind of explaining the predicament to me,” said van der Beek.

She is open to renting to students but the family home is in a family and children oriented neighbourhood. It is also not close to the university and is located off of Edinburgh and Paisley roads. 

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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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