Kitchener study shows overcrowded student housing in Lower Doon neighbourhood
KITCHENER -- A study by the City of Kitchener shows overcrowded student housing is common in the Lower Doon neighbourhood.
Mary Cunningham, who lives in the area, wants to see change.
"I am concerned about the quality of the places they're living in," she said. "We've seen some of them and they're bad."
Cunningham said some of the off-campus student houses, which are occupied by Conestoga College students, are unsafe.
"There's a lot of illegal renovations going on without permits," she said.
Cunningham said some places house as many as 12 students.
A study presented to a council committee this week shows there have been 100 to 200 calls to bylaw officers regarding indoor and outdoor complaints over the past three years. They include bed bugs and garbage left in the street.
An order has also been issued to convert 22 houses back to their original designs set out in their building permits.
"There are landlords that have good, safe accommodations for students and there's landlords that don't," Ward 4 Coun. Christine Michaud said.
Staff offered 23 recommendations in the study. One was for the college to build more student housing.
"Conestoga College delivers programming and services at multiple campus locations across Waterloo Region and beyond. The college works in collaboration with municipalities, landlords, developers, the local community and our student leaders to support a range of suitable housing and transportation options for students in each of these locations," a statement from Conestoga College said. "We will continue to work with our partners to develop positive solutions to address student housing needs."
Other recommendations include rezoning and allowing licensed lodging houses.