Georgian College to create student housing strategy amid ‘challenging’ housing landscape

Post-secondary students have been caught up in Canada’s housing crunch.

On Tuesday, Georgian College announced it has chosen to work with EY Canada to develop a student housing strategy.

“The project, focused on student housing in Barrie, begins this month with data gathering and consultations with key constituent groups, including students,” the college said in a news release. ” The full project will take place over the next six months to analyze student demand, develop options and recommendations, assess the economic impact and ultimately result in a housing strategy for the college.”

In September, Georgian officials told Barrie 360 they had heard from both domestic and international students about challenges associated with finding affordable off-campus housing in some of their communities.

“That’s due to a lack of available rentals, but also aligning with our student needs and budget,” Megan Fenton, Director of Student Success, explained at the time.

The project announced by Georgian on Tuesday is the latest effort by the school to address student housing challenges – which has also included the hiring two housing coordinators to work directly with students, creating a housing portal and partnering with SpacesShared, a program that matches students to older adults who have space accommodations and can use some help around the house.

“Georgian is committed to continuing to play a key role in driving our region’s economy by attracting and training our future workforce,” said Suzie Addison-Toor, Vice President, Student Success. “We know our students and alumni are contributing to our local and regional economy and they can only do that if well-supported with safe, attainable and appropriate housing options. Working with EY Canada, I’m confident Georgian will further the work we’re already doing to create a sustainable housing strategy,” added Addison-Toor. 

Georgian says it will collaborate with partners from the City of Barrie and provide updates to the community in the spring.