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Victoria housing crunch hitting students hard


Work is being completed on the University of Victoria’s new residence hall, which will be ready to welcome 400 students in September.

The accommodations are desperately needed, say many students, including one Master's counselling student who told CTV News anxiety levels are palpable amongst those trying to find housing.

Other students said they’d looked for four months or more to find a place to live, with several noting the prices are significantly higher closer to campus.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation blames a lack of supply of purpose-built rental buildings for the rental-housing crunch hitting all of Greater Victoria.

Pershing Sun works for CMHC. She notes new purpose-built rentals in the region are down this year compared to last.

“There were about 243 rental units completed from April to June, but that was about 60 per cent lower than last year's completion levels,” said Pershing on Tuesday.

The CMHC’s latest numbers show a vacancy rental rate of one per cent in Victoria — slightly worse than Vancouver’s rate of 1.2 per cent vacancy.

The organization says rental prices in the capital are at all-time highs – a trend that’s been developing for a few years, and one that reflects sky-high real estate prices, forcing many to rent.

Hunter Boucher with LandlordBC notes most everything, including insurance, has become more expense in the past year.

“The cost of building a new building today, compared to even just two years ago, is astronomically higher,” says Boucher, who says low vacancy rates are creating an unhealthy market for both renters and landlords.

Boucher also says more purpose-built rental supply is needed. Top Stories

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