North Island College wants to help connect students with places to live in Campbell River, the Comox Valley and Port Alberni.
The College has set up a new agreement with a service called Places4Students that connects students and homeowners who have space for rent.
The service provides students with more housing options in a tight housing market and can even help them with finding roommates near campus.
For homeowners, the service provides rental revenue, a direct student referral from NIC, online and live customer support, free general listings with descriptions, photos and amenity icons, web tracking data, automated mapping and other features.
“All these services are free,” said Angie Price, NIC Manager of International Student Services.
Places4Students provides a go-between for students and anyone with a place to rent. NIC hopes employees and the wider community will consider opening their homes to students.
“We would love to have landlords come join us online,” she said.
The Places4Students.com website can serve all NIC students needing a place to stay during their studies. It will be especially helpful to international students coming to the community for the first time, trades students looking for short-term rentals and any NIC student who needs a place to stay while they study. The hope is that the site will become the central hub for students and homeowners across the region.
“We are encouraging people to post there,” said Price. “That way all students, wherever they are in the world, have equal accessibility to the online listings.”
Places4Students has been around since 2003 and has agreements in place with more than 190 post-secondary campuses across North America.
Its website gets more than 15 million page views a year, and so far, the service has helped match up more than 136,000 landlords with students renting accommodations.
“We are excited to have partnered with North Island College to provide an off-campus housing service. The current rental market with extremely low vacancy rates has created an unprecedented struggle for students to find a place to live while attending college,” said Laurie Snure, General Manager with Places4Students.com. “Our team is doing all we can to help by reaching out to the community and raising awareness. By renting out a room not being used or space in a basement to a student, homeowners can gain a new revenue source and experience other benefits too. It’s a win-win for both!”
With more students arriving this January, the College is hoping homeowners will sign up soon. Potential landlords in the community can find more information through the Places4Students website and set up an account to get started.
Students needing accommodations can sign up for an account using their NIC email.