Guelph’s mayor calls long waitlist for U of G’s student housing ‘unacceptable’

By Justine Fraser

The University of Guelph (U of G) has a long waitlist for student housing, and this week, students are learning their position on a list that is about 1300 names long.

Guelph’s mayor, Cam Guthrie, released a statement on June 13 in response, calling the waitlist “disappointing” and “unacceptable.”

Guthrie said in the statement that he only found out about the long waitlist for residence for the 2024 fall semester this past week.

“I am quite disappointed with what may occur if solutions are not immediately found, not only for the impacts to first-year students but to the greater Guelph community with the planned over-recruitment tactic employed by the University,” wrote Guthrie.

On Tuesday, U of G issued a press release that said they “targeted higher enrolment numbers for fall 2024, but also had an exceptional response in the number of students who want to come to the University of Guelph.”

It also said they are expecting higher enrollment numbers than in 2023. They said they added more housing options and are looking into creating more. The school added that U of G on-campus housing is not a guarantee.

The deadline for choosing a different university has already passed, leaving about 1300 first-year students looking for a place to call home this fall.

“The ripple effects will be considerable and compounding for our community for years to come. It is completely unacceptable,” added Guthrie in the statement.

“Housing costs will most certainly rise, making it harder not just for students scrambling for accommodations, but for current residents and newcomers to Guelph and other individuals already struggling to find housing in our community. Guelph already has one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in the province along with high rental rates. I’m also concerned about capacity issues for our transit systems, our community services, bylaw, and more.”

“I have made it clear to the University leadership that I am disappointed, and I expect them to actively participate in finding solutions.”

CityNews has an interview with Mayor Cam Guthrie next Tuesday to speak about this issue further.

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