91大黄鸭

Back to News

News Article

Open Letter to Niagara Regional Housing Board

The following letter by 91大黄鸭 Vice-President, External Affairs, Alyssa Hall, will be presented by Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Gary Zallepa at the Regional Housing Board meeting. It highlights the importance of ensuring that students studying on campus have access to housing that is safe, affordable, and accessible - an issue that 91大黄鸭 continues to advocate towards.

advocacyvpea

The following letter by 91大黄鸭 Vice-President, External Affairs, Alyssa Hall, will be presented by Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Gary Zallepa at the Regional Housing Board meeting. It highlights the importance of ensuring that students studying on campus have access to housing that is safe, affordable, and accessible - an issue that 91大黄鸭 continues to advocate towards.

The Brock University Students Union (91大黄鸭) continues to stress the importance of ensuring that students studying on our campus have access to housing throughout the Niagara Region that is safe, affordable, and accessible. 

Regardless of program, year of study, or demographic background, students studying at Brock University continue to report concerns about the safety of their off-campus housing. As this is the first time that many of our students are moving away from their family homes, they find themselves in a position of vulnerability when trying to navigate renting off-campus housing in a strange city. Unfortunately, many of our students have reported instances in which they were taken advantage of by their landlords, a situation that is all too common among student renters due to their limited knowledge on what their rights as tenants are. Many students have also reported falling victim to renting from ‘slumlords’, whose general lack of compassion towards their renters finds students subject to crowded and poorly maintained living conditions. While these are issues of safety that impact Brock students, it is important to note that low-income students, 2SLGBTQIA+ students, international students, and students belonging to a racial minority are disproportionately impacted by unsafe student housing. 

On average, students studying at Brock University will be living, working, shopping, travelling, and studying throughout the Niagara Region for four years during the completion of their undergraduate degree. As persons who actively contribute to the Niagara Region’s economy in more ways than one, it is important that permanent residents and municipally elected representatives alike, start to view Brock students as the valued and valuable community members that they are. It is essential that students feel welcomed by the neighborhoods in which their off-campus housing is situated, allowing students to form a sense of community within the Niagara Region; a necessary step to ensuring that Brock students continue to settle within the region post-graduation.

A current challenge that many Brock students are facing is the implication that student housing should be segregated and kept separate from the housing of ‘permanent’ Niagara residents, and that it should be the responsibility of the university to house students when studying on their campus. This is a damaging narrative that must be overcome to create housing for students that is affordable, accessible, and safe. As it costs drastically more money for students to live on-campus during the completion of their degrees, placing the onus on the university to house students is a solution that disproportionately disadvantages low-income students, while further negating the responsibility that municipal governments hold towards engaging and including Brock University students in their community affairs.

Students deserve safe, affordable, and accessible housing during the completion of their undergraduate degrees. These are issues of equity and serve as a reminder for just some of the challenges impacting Brock students. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss some of these comments further, and to answer any questions that you may have regarding the importance of creating housing for students that is safe, affordable, and accessible.

Sincerely,

Alyssa Hall, Vice-President of External Affairs for the Brock University Students Union