Move in day for Halifax university students

As September moves in, so are the university students, hunkering down in homes close to campus or right in residence.

With in-person classes back this year, so is the high demand for housing.

Students say the trick is to secure a spot early.

"We were looking for ours in October and still people had their houses in September for the next year," says Olivia Robertson, a Dalhousie University student in Halifax.

The student union at Dalhousie University says they have been hearing from people who can’t find a place.

"We hear from students who are trying to figure out courses first and are wanting to take their courses online because they just can’t seem to get housing in Nova Scotia right now," says Aparna Mohan, VP Academic and External Dalhousie Student Union.

Mohan has also heard of people sleeping on the campus, couch surfing, or people packing into rooming houses.

"We’re concerned by just how many of those cases there are and it’s definitely more prevalent this year than in previous years," Mohan says.

COVID-19 rules have reduced Dalhousie's residence capacity to 80 per cent this fall.

Saint Mary University in Halifax says its residences usually fill up by late July or August.

"I applied a bit late, but then they asked me to move to some other residences because the Rice Residence was just too full," says Aman Verma, Saint Mary's University student.

Tate Wentges did get a room in residence at Dalhousie.

He’s helping his cousin move out, and this week, he moves in.

"Pretty excited, a little nervous," says Tate Wentges, a Dalhousie student.