Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 28, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The lethbridge Herald Locai Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, August 28, 1974 College students can't find digs The student housing situation in the city has reached crisis proportions, leaving some college bound students with no alternative but to seek their education elsewhere. A couple of students have already given up their search for accommodation and headed home, others are still methodically dialing numbers and knocking on doors, but the major influx of students requiring accommodation is still to come. Lethbridge Community College has placed about one quarter of its out of town students and expects that most of its second year students have previously arranged for accommodation. But that still leaves about 150 first year students to face the grim housing situation this weekend when they begin searching for accommodation prior to the Sept. 3. college registration day. The student housing shortage will, at the worst, only change some University of Lethbridge students' accommodation plans. Those unable to find such accommodation will still have the alternative of living in the U of L residence, not expected to be fully occupied this year. In a last ditch effort to obtain accommodation for its students, the college has issued a public plea to Lethbridge residents and apartment owners asking that every effort be made to provide some type of housing for the students. "Even if people just could give someone a room without kitchen privileges, it could really help the says Bill Johnson, college counsellor and co ordinator of student housing. Those involved with the student housing situation offer several explanations for the extreme housing shortage students face this year. Dean Stetson, acting director of student services. says accommodation for students has gradually become more difficult to obtain with each school year. Last year was the first year students withdrew tuition fees because they were unable to find a place to live. He suggests the situation became extremely critical for students this year because of the number of construction workers residing in suites while working on projects like the Woodward's complex and the senior citizen's high rise. C. D. Stewart, LCC president, believes "the wealth in the country" has directly affected student housing. "People don't want to put up with having students living in their homes unless thev have to." The family income has reached a level that allows people to live in a house with extra bedrooms without renting them out, he says. An extremely high occupancy rate in the city also allows landlords to pick and chose their tenants. As a result, students are usually on the bottom of their preference list. Apartment landlords fear renting to rowdy students and to people who do not have a steady income. However, their greatest fear about renting to students is the number of vacant apartments they will be left with when the students complete their school year in the spring. "All of a sudden bang, we were caught with 20 empty apartments last recalls Audrey Clark, owner of Larkspur Apartments. Jim Grant of the Herald, In a number of stories on this page, reports on the serious housing shortage that faces Lethbridge Com- munity College students as they search for accom- modation prior to registration next Tuesday. Last year was the first year the Clarks rented suites and were taken by surprise when they were caught with several suites to rent and no tenants. This year they have rented only one third of their apartments to students. The student services department at the college maintains a list of accommodations for students but by the beginning of this week the list had dwindled to 40 and many of them had live in restrictions that eliminated many students. No smoking, abstainers only, no children, no pets and evening time restrictions are some of the regulations many landlords place on student tenants. There were only about 25 advertisements in The Herald during the past week offering room and board, rooms or suites but most of the ads also carried restrictions. Since several students attending the college have been working and living on their own for one or more years, they find it difficult to comply with regulations they feel may be applicable to teenagers but not adults. The cost of renting a one or two bedroom apartment in the city is greater than most students can afford, especially married students with children. Pages 13-22. Opportunity agency opens I to make development loans 1 The Alberta Opportunity Company officially opens its Lethbridge office today. Established as a Crown corporation by the provincial I government in 1972 to make loans to small business, the AOC now has five offices throughout the province, i Its seven man board of directors includes Lethbridge member Morley Tanner and is scheduled to 1 meet this afternoon in the city. A reception marking li- the official opening will be held from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Holiday Inn. The office is located in the provincial administration I building at 909 3rd Ave. N. The phone number is 329- i 4266. Manager John Kennedy says the AOC picks up the slack left in some lending areas by commercial in- stitutions. The company will make long-term loans hard to ob- tain elsewhere and provide money for development in smaller communities. The funds are intended to en- courage expansion of secondary industry, not stimulate primary production. Drivers' training costs leap up ISABELLE NOBLE OF OKOTOKS AND JOHN DANIELS OF WINNIPEG CHECK LIST 'Stereotyping students mistake' Lethbridge landlords are making a mistake when they stereotype all students as be- ing long haired, rowdy drug users, according to the stu- dent services director at Lethbridge Community College. "There is a percentage of students that will raise hell, but they're no greater in number than in any other walk of claims Dean Stetson, the man charged with the responsibility of helping college students find accom- modation. "Somehow." he says, "we got to breakdown the stereotyping of students." He is particularly concern- ed that some landlords have added "no students" to their list of who they will rent to. Mr. Stetson knows several out of town college students lace the prospect of not being able to attend classes this year if accommodation cannot be found. The only hope of ob- taining accommodation for them is to locate new sources of housing. He "isn't sure there is anything available in the city." But if there are home owners who have suites or ad- ditional rooms they're not using, Mr. Stetson hopes to en- STUDENT FRANK BEATTY BOUGHT MOBILE HOME courage them to rent to students. He also hopes to en- courage landlords who have decided not to rent to students to reverse their decision. It is possible, he suggests, a few rowdy students have dis- couraged landlords from renting to students. The student rowdiness problem is definitely a concern for apartment owners wTio agree to rent one apart- ment to several youths. Wendy Rasmussen, student council advisor, says about 30 per cent of the students placed in apartments caused problems for their landlords last year. And in most cases, the problems occurred where a group of students rented one apartment. To help ease or eliminate student landlord conflicts last year, Ms. Rasmussen made arrangements with landlords to call her if .students were causing problems and for students to contact her if they were concerned with their landlords. As a result, she says, many of the difficulties between landlord and student were overcome. In some cases, the student was asked to leave and the college found the landlord a more suitable stu- dent tenant. Only about 10 per cent of the student placements in private homes resulted in complaints and in nearly all cases it was the student complaining about the landlord. Meagre diets and "too noisy to study" topped the list of student complaints. Bill student ser- vices counsellor, has a simpler method of handling students who don't follow the regulations they agreed to when they moved into the suite or apartment. "The minute the students cause a problem just give them their notice and we'll find another student" to fill the vacancy, he says. However, Mr. Stetson main- tains for every rowdy student there are several other students who would be a welcome addition to most homes. RICK ERVIN photos MAGGIE NEMETH HOUSE HUNTS BY PHONE With statements that it was "a public responsibility" and "the loss of one single life is worth more than the ad- ditional cost." the public school board agreed Tuesday to pur another into driver education. A lengthy debate erupted when the trustees were in- formed driver education fees increased by 80 per cent to a cost per student of The Alberta Motor Association, the organization that supplies the cars and trained instructors for the in- car portion of the program, has increased its hourly rate from to and increased its required hours of instruc- tion by two. the trustees were told. Under the previous rate, the school board funded of the cost per student and the participating students paid the balance. After considerable discus- sion about the amount of money by which the board should subsidize students who take the program, trustees decided to fund of the now per student cost of the program. Bob Plaxton. superintendent, had suggested that the board continue with its subsidy rather than increase it because driver education students would be more than reimbursed for their investment in the course when they obtained insurance for their automobile. Insurance companies have agreed to extend premium discounts of about 40 per cent to those who have taken a recognized driver education course. Dr. Plaxton estimated the insurance saving at for young male drivers in their first insurance year. They can also receive a similar saving the following two years if they keep their driving record clean. The trustees also discussed the possibility of opening the program to all students who wished to take it. No action was taken to ex- pand the program. The decision by the school board to increase its subsidy boosted its total cost of sub- sidizing driver education to a maximum of During the last school term, the subsidy per student cost the board Two killed at crossing near city Two Nobleford district men were killed instantly Tuesday morning when their pickup truck was in collision with a CP Rail freight train at a level uncontrolled crossing about 10 miles northwest of Lethbridge. Harry Brian Postman. 62. and his son David. 22 were southbound on a district road when they were in collision with the eastbound train on its way to Lethbridge. The accident occurred at about a.m. LCC president has housing plan The critical student housing situation in the city may be of sufficient magnitude to con- vince the department of ad- vanced education that the Lethbridge Community College needs a student residence, says LCC Presi- dent C. D. Stewart. Dr. Stewart has advocated the construction of a residence on campus during the past two years but has been unable to convince the department the need justified the expenditure. When informed by telephone Tuesday of the student hous- ing shortage in the city, M. R. Fenske, the department's campus development director in Edmonton, said that he would certainly take another look at the college's request for a residence to see if its situation is any different that at the time of its last proposal. In the meantime, he s.ays the department would support any move by the college board to temporarily alleviate the student housing shortage by- leasing private facilities and renting them to students. Dr. Fenske maintained that student housing is a poor financial proposition because of the low utilization rate and the provincial government is cautious about supporting such risky expenditures. The low utilization rate results from student residences only being oc- cupied for about eight months of the year. Dr. Stewart argues that stu- dent residences in Edmonton and Red Deer that have been cited by department of ad- vanced education officials as being losing propositions in the past are now paying propositions. Two years ago a student residence could be constructed for about per student. Now, he claims, it will cost about a stu- dent to construct the same building. The LCC students council also considered financing the construction of a student residence during the past year, but Hal Gallup, student president, says the council "ran into quite a bit of resistance at the government level." "It is now a pipe dream." he says. "The mortgage interest rate alone is enough to make it unrealistic for us to operate a residence." Dr. Stewart says the college has hired an architect to design a housing facility that would be less costly than a massive student residence. LCC will again approach the department of advanced education for financing after it receives a report back from its architect in mid- September. He says the architect's stu- dent housing design will be in the form of duplexes that would accommodate as many as six students on each side or provide a married student and his family with a three bedroom home. Where it is only feasible to construct a students residence high rise that will accom- modate 100 students, the first duplex development could be restricted to a number of units that would provide housing for 50 students. Dr. Stewart points out. As a short term solution to its housing problem. LCC may seek to place its students in such facilities as the Lethbridge Municipal Hospital Nurses Residence. The University of Lethbridge student residence was eliminated as a possible housing source for stranded college students this year when university officials es- timated its occupancy rate would be at least 90 per cent this vear. House-hunting collegians find they can't be too picky Lethbridge Community College students hunting for accommodation this week were in for a frustrating experience. Frank Gee, 21, was one student who became so frustrated after two days of searching for a place to throw his gear that he headed back to Victoria, the city he left only a few days before in hopes of studying recreational land manage- ment at LCC. Prior to leaving for Lethbridge, he resigned from a job with the British Columbia parks department. He hopes to get his job back when he returns to Victoria. While in Lethbridge, Mr. Gee phoned about 30 homes and apartments and knocked on the doors of abojt 20 of them in an effort to find accom- mocation. He had a particular problem that is common to students his age but does not apply to younger students just out of high school He has a dog. The fact that he was a student and had a dog eliminated him from most available accom- modations in the city and he eliminated the remaining few. "Maybe I have been out of school too long, but I am not prepared to live with the type of restric- tions some landlords force on their tenants or in the extremely small facilities they are attempting to Mr. Gee says. Some landlords wouldn't allow visitors at all. while others wouldn't permit pets or smoking. He also found rates for apartments too expen- sive for one person. Mr. Gee says he may return for the LCC winter semester with friends from Victoria and rent an apartment. Frank Beatty, 25, heard about the housing shortage when he arrived from Vancouver and promptly purchased a mobile home to solve his problem. Mr. Beatty spent 2V2 years with the West Van- couver Police prior to moving to Lethbridge to enter LCC's two year conservation program. He hopes to enter conservation enforcement upon graduating from LCC. By purchasing a mobile home, Mr. Beatty not only obtained the additional spate he needs when he gets married in the near future, but also has accommodation for his German shepherd dog. John'Daniels. 21, arrived from Manitoba this week only to be suddenly faced with the difficult task of finding accommodation. He has two years of university education behind him and will be studying general recreation at LCC in hopes of landing a job in a national park upon graduating. He is still searching. Isabelle Noble, 18, of Okotoks, had only been searching for accommodation for a few hours prior to being interviewed by The Herald, but she had already discovered there "is quite a shortage of housing" for students and that she can't be picky" about where she lives. She had phoned nine apartments or residences and they were all filled to capacity or were un- available to two girls (single A nursing student. Miss Noble intends to share accommodations with a female friend.