Students need to engage over by-law changes

The staff of the city of Waterloo has proposed a new rental housing licensing by-law to maintain property standards and ensure safety. Considering the many difficulties the student community has faced in the quality of their rental homes and lack of recreational space, the proposal is a much-needed step to finding a solution for the problems in rental housing.

The proposed by-law is complicated as there are many specifications for different housing licences. While many aspects of it have the potential to improve the situation for many students, the public must also be weary as to what the changes entail. Elements of the proposal could impact the landscape of student accommodations in the coming years as the number of lodging houses, providing rooms to four or more students per household, would be limited in areas such as Northdale.

Although this could lead to more high-density apartment-style developments around the university, that is not a guaranteed result and conversely, housing rental costs could simply increase.

Before the proposal returns to city council on Apr. 11, students should inform themselves about the changes through information available at the city’s website and through the university affairs department of Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and make their concerns heard. Students should engage in the process before allowing decisions to be made that could dictate where they live and how much rent they will be paying.

–The Cord Editorial Board

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