Students face housing scarcity in St. Andrews, N.B.
The tiny town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick is known for drawing tourists to its shores, but it’s also attracting an increasing number of post-secondary students. However, with decreasing housing stock in the town, students experience challenges when finding a place to live.
Despite the student population in St. Andrews being relatively small, its students say they don’t always have the best of luck when it comes to house hunting. Lately, student housing has reportedly decreased while demand has increased.
"There were either really expensive things that a student like me couldn't afford or just stuff that wasn't ideal – like the rooming house,” says college student, Sydney Irvin.
Deputy Mayor, Brad Henderson, estimates there are around 200 students at the New Brunswick Community College in Saint Andrews. Some of them are staying at Anderson House – a residence of the Huntsman Aquarium.
“They've converted it,” says Henderson. “I believe there's anywhere from 20-30 students currently staying there. They are looking at longer-term accommodations options."
Francisco Beltran, an international student from Mexico, says he started searching for a place to stay long before arriving but is happy he did as he was able to secure a vacant and affordable living space.
"I am paying $500 per month, but one night in Airbnb is from $80-$100,” says Beltran. “That’s almost one-fifth of the month, and as students we need the money."
Henderson says he would like to see a dorm dedicated to students built in the town.
"The demand is there, students every year are having a harder time finding accommodations,” says Henderson. “There was a building in town that purchased a 10-unit building, and it filled within a day."
The municipality notes it is working to implement a transportation system for students at Anderson House.
Meanwhile, NBCC says it’s seen a significant increase in the number of students, particularly international students, studying at the St. Andrews campus. The college says the issue has prompted them to begin working closely with the town and other community partners to address housing scarcity for students.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall