posted on Jan. 16: Off-campus housing sessions offer tips on finding suitable housing


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Jennifer Kleven”]With wet snow flying, September seems a long time away.

If you're a student who will be living off-campus next fall, now is the time to start working on finding housing arrangements that will suit your needs.

Jennifer Kleven '90 is McMaster's first full-time off-campus housing co-ordinator.

She's hosting two information sessions designed to help students unravel the mysteries of securing suitable off-campus housing. The information sessions are 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 (Wentworth House, Main Lounge) and Thursday, Jan. 17 (Hamilton Hall, Blue Lounge).

Kleven, who studied sociology here, has personal experience with the off-campus housing market. She had a “great landlord” and got along well with her roommates. She knows that's not always the case as she's heard some troublesome stories in her new role.

That's why she believes the information sessions will be useful.
“Part of our mandate is to educate students, open their eyes to what they need to be aware of and what to watch for,” Kleven said. “It's important to make them aware that this is the time to begin looking for the best houses.”

The most popular arrangements for off-campus housing are groups of students staying in one house and students living in a landlord's home with their own room and perhaps sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities.

In addition to the information sessions, students, visiting faculty and landlords can obtain help on a daily basis from either Kleven or the two students who work part-time in the office in Wentworth House, Room 118B — office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. The office provides listings of potential housing, zone maps pertaining to Hamilton and students can obtain help on where to go for legal assistance or information about landlord-tenant issues.

Kleven has just finished refreshing the office's Web site and is devising a complaint policy for students. As well, she is designing a survey to gather information from off-campus students about how they commute to McMaster, the types of housing they now use and what their unique needs are.

“We want to do a better job of servicing these students and their needs — how can we help them become more quickly connected,” she said.