- 42% of all purpose-built student-specific housing in Canada is in the City of Waterloo, where 84% of WUSA Housing Survey respondents live. Housing survey respondents (1,500+ undergraduates) overwhelmingly (85%) rent housing and do not live with family members (67%).
- Many students (43%) experience 1-2 maintenance issues per term and only 10% of respondents never have a major issue per term. Common issues include lack of heating or ventilation systems, poor water quality, and weathering of doors and/or windows. In addition, students indicated they are not likely to report these issues to the proper municipal authorities.
- Cost of housing in the region is increasing every year, and is of great concern to students. 72.5% of respondents said cost is an important factor when looking for housing. Additionally, approximately 70% of students spend over 30% of their monthly budget on housing.
- For housing covered under the Residential Tenancies Act (most Waterloo housing), landlords are required to use the Ontario Standard Lease, but only 15% of students said it had been used with them. 70% of those leases also had additional (illegal) clauses added that the majority of students didn’t know were illegal. Awareness of tenant rights is of major concern.
- It is recommended that WUSA advocate for better enforcement of housing and tenant laws and increase student ability to report predatory landlords. WUSA is also recommended to improve awareness of tenant rights through housing events, a new website, as well as other avenues.