Rising rents may squeeze student budgets

Since the start of the year, the cost of renting has risen more in the city of Hamilton than anywhere else in the province of Ontario. A significant number of people have been moving into the Hamilton area after being forced out of the GTA due to the rising cost of living there. In turn, this has increased the cost of living in Hamilton, creating a surge in the real-estate market. For local residents and landlords this means a widening gap between renting and owning.

This has forced the hand of many landlords of student housing within the areas surrounding McMaster University and  Mohawk College.

Landlord Srinidhi Ganji has been renting out 20 West 4th St. for over two years now and has always kept her pricing the same. She says that there may come a time very soon though, when she will need to raise the rent in order to maintain a successful business strategy.

“My goal was to provide safe, reliable living and something easily affordable for those getting themselves a higher education, never has it been my intention to make money the priority.”

Srinidhi hopes she will not have to join other local landlords in raising rent, however she may not have a choice with only a few months remaining before the fall semester.

The CBC has reported that the cost of a two-bedroom unit in the city has risen 3.5 per cent from the beginning of the year. They also reported a drop of 1.8 per cent in vacancies since January as well, cutting the city’s vacancy rate in half. A healthy rental market vacancy rate usually sits between two to three per cent.

by Nicholas Birnie

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