North Island College is asking people to open their homes to students for the coming school year. Photo by Edward Hitchins/Campbell River Mirror

North Island College is asking people to open their homes to students for the coming school year. Photo by Edward Hitchins/Campbell River Mirror

NIC asks people to open their homes to students this year

College partnering with Places 4 Students to alleviate housing pressures

Residents of Campbell River, the Comox Valley and Port Alberni can help North Island College students lessen their housing burdens thanks to a partnership with a student housing matching service.

North Island College has partnered with Places4Students.com, which matches student renters with prospective landlords in the community.

The idea is that people who may have spare rooms or housing can offer it to students who are coming to the community for the school year.

“Student housing is super important part of the student experience,” said Craig Whitton, student affairs director for NIC. “Places 4 Students allows students to find local landlords.

“So not people that are professional landlords, but even folks who just have a spare room in their house, and they’re willing to have a student rented out and live in it.

Whitton said that this program allows students to occupy housing that better suits their needs, for example shorter term or with people who can welcome them to the community, and allows more housing stock to be freed up for people with other needs.

”At the end of the day, everybody needs a place to live that’s safe and accessible and comfortable for them.

“And, you know, this is our way of making sure our students have that, which then has the knock-on effects for other members of the community,” he said.

The program is open to all students. Whitton said it could have a particular benefit to international students who may not have the same community connections as domestic students.

“It really is just, you know, everyday members of the community who are wanting to contribute to the student experience, and contribute their own experience as well,” he said.

“We have an awful lot of folks who are retired in the area, and this is a great opportunity for them to share their space with someone who they might be able to build a relationship with.

“It gives back to the homeowners as well.”

Prospective landlords and students can sign up at places4students.com.

There are separate pages for each partner school campus.

RELATED: Feds should front 1/3 of student housing cost, Singh says at UVic

September 5 marked the first day of classes for North Island College.

Housing crisisNorth Island College