Students head to council over student housing conditions, affordability
WATERLOO -- Cockroaches, bedbugs and skyrocketing rent: these are among the issues that a group of students were speaking out about on Monday.
The group presented their concerns at a committee meeting at city hall, telling council about the ongoing stress students experience when it comes to finding a safe place to call home.
Some say they've been forced to live out of their cars or commute.
Student Diane Taylor says that after a month of looking online, she was left with a worst-case scenario.
"I couldn't find anything. I was feeling a little bit desperate at that point, living out of my car and staying with friends, on couches," she says.
She still hasn't found an ideal living situation.
Another student, Sylvia Skoruch, says she was forced to stay living outside the region while going to school here.
"I was basically left with no housing," she says.
"I had to commute from Mississauga to Waterloo every single day, wake up at 5:45, take the 6:30 bus for my classes at 8:30."
Coun. Jeff Henry has a number of students in his ward.
He says everyone deserves a safe place to live.
"We come out to inspect and if there's a deficiency, we'd issue an order to the landlord and we give them a reasonable amount of time to fix it," he says.
"If they don't it, we make sure it gets fixed for them and we add it to the property taxes."
But the students on Monday say that maintenance is only half the battle.
They're hoping for a form of rent control to keep students within budget.
This is the second time the group has spoken to city councillors.
Skoruch says she's also started an online support network for those who want to share their rental stories.