Lethbridge College, U of L offer student housing options to public at lower costs
The Lethbridge College and University of Lethbridge campuses are quiet, as students have gone home for summer break.
But that means it's time for both institutions to begin transitioning student residences into summer accommodations that are open to the public.
"We've had the highest uptick in summer housing ever, which is really, really exciting," said Laura Correal, associate director of housing services at the University of Lethbridge.
With rent prices continuing to climb in Lethbridge, Correal says it's a good option for students staying throughout the summer months and those home to work.
Residents can be current students between years or taking summer classes, high school graduates about to start their studies or the general public.
The spaces are available both short- and long-term, with discounts for students.
"When you're here for four months, you get two months off," Correal explained.
"If you're here for three months, you get one month off and for the two, you pay the two and one, you pay the one. But it comes out to the cheapest option being $470 a month if you're staying for four months."
In May, rent for a one-bedroom unit was $1,178, a 9.2 per cent increase compared to the same month last year, according to Rentals.ca.
A two-bedroom unit in Lethbridge costs $1,335, an 11.3 per cent increase year-over-year.
Correal says it's not just short- and long-term rentals available, both institutions offer hotel-style accommodations.
"We don't have a hotel on the west side, for example, so anyone that's coming in, they don't have to be a student, it's just weekly basis, even monthly if they really wanted to," Correal said.
Across the river, Lethbridge College offers single suites, two-bedroom suites or four-bedroom townhouses throughout the summer months.
"We have lots of short-term people, groups that come, so Dragon Boat (Festival) is always a popular and busy time for us, we're pretty full that weekend," said Laura Bowser, residence manager at Lethbridge College.
Bowser says renting off-season allows for added revenue to help with the overall budget when the school year comes around.
"We have the resources and there's really a need for people to have some longer short-term housing options, so we're glad that we can offer that," she said.
The college offers rentals for conferences, sports tournaments, reunions and seasonal workers.
"Most of them have full kitchens, stoves, fridges, so it's really economical if you want to come to Lethbridge for a length of time. It’s a great option," Bowser said.