Unsigned Editorial – Waterloo’s phony housing bubble

CordUnsignedAnyone who has been in Waterloo recently will have noticed the rapid rise of apartment buildings. Some staunch economists might argue that the multiplication of these buildings signifies growth, which is good for the community. Other more pragmatic economists, however, might conceive of these buildings as misleading.

These buildings are misleading because on the outside, they seem to be offering a solution to Waterloo’s nonexistent student housing problem. But, on the inside, they seem to be rushed, low-quality and ugly buildings. This would be tolerable if the developers didn’t set such high rent rates.

Even more problematic is the fact that to build these apartments, developers generally have to demolish between two and three traditional student houses.

Houses that have over the years served as the heart of the unique experience afforded to students.

Moreover, these apartments are built in a terrain unable to handle much traffic. Streets such as Spruce and James are extremely small, and thereby unable to host as many apartment buildings as they do at present.

Meanwhile, because student enrolment at Laurier is seemingly low, the argument for the necessity of these apartments is inapplicable. If student enrolment is low, for whom are these buildings being built? The result is an unnecessary number of substandard apartment buildings.

Regardless, those responsible for this phony housing bubble will continue to reap in the profits, not because they have done students some good, but because of the inflated rent rates they place on their half-baked apartments. Another win for greed and capitalism.

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