Student housing failing to meet promises and demand

With the Sage 2 building on Spruce Street more than a month delayed with their construction deadline, it would be right to assume the company should be doing everything they can to keep their customers — mostly students at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo — temporarily content, despite the obvious frustrations.

Not only does this delay inconvenience the students who have to worry about rising academic workloads on top of not being settled into their living situations, but it is damaging Sage’s reputation as a reputable student housing service.

A new video surfaced on the internet of a Sage employee physically removing a tenant who was irritated with lacking customer service. Undoubtedly, the footage will contribute to Sage’s wavering credibility.

This is not the first time Waterloo building construction has failed to meet deadlines. Over the past few years there has been numerous cases, including last year’s issue with Schembri Property Management, of students setting up camp in hotels or on friends’ couches because their buildings remained unfinished past their move in schedules.

Why are so many students willing to sign leases for blueprints — buildings that have yet to touch the sky or even break the ground? Why do so many people take such residential risks?

Students seek state-of-the-art condos that are modernized, fully furnished and equipped with top-notch amenities. The market is expanding with elegant lounges, flat screen TV’s and granite flooring that far exceeds the standard expectations of traditional housing. For many students these advancements may be worth the risk — not to mention the prolonged wait. But for those lost souls who merely want to find a functional place to live with a low budget and reasonable expectation, it seems that options are running low.

Everywhere we look there are cranes and bulldozers ruthlessly ripping down properties like a chaotic warzone. Old houses — which may still appeal to those who are looking for modest and affordable living situations — are being replaced with elegant condos. Deluxe residents are conquering the battlefield of Waterloo.

Overall, affordable and functional options should not be compromised for ambitious buildings that are failing to be built.

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