Oshawa moves closer to removing students near university

The city of Oshawa has moved one step closer to enacting a controversial housing bylaw that would leave hundreds of students without a place to live. On Monday the city’s development services committee approved the bylaw for city council consideration.

The new regulations would limit the number of bedrooms in houses, close to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College, to four, and place restrictions to keep bedrooms from comprising more than 40 per cent of total floor space.

The official goal of the bylaw is to control “density.”

Councillor John Neal, who represents the ward where UOIT is located, says the proposed bylaw does not go far enough. He wants restrictions placed on the number of houses that can be rented in the area, as well as laws requiring a set distance between rental houses. “This will bring the neighbourhood back to what it should be, what it was . . . it was quiet,” says Neal.

Students and the University both feel that the bylaw is unfairly targeting students. The university sent out a news release prior to Monday’s meeting stating that it fully supported the position of the students’ association against the bylaw.

The bylaw is the first in Ontario designed to restrict students from living in an area near a university. Many other university towns such as London and Hamilton are looking to pass similar restrictions on student housing.

The city of Oshawa denies that it is targeting students.

Read background story Oshawa Council backs down on controversial housing bylaw

Joey Coleman: Liveblogging the Oshawa meeting