Last Updated on June 14, 2022 by YGK News Staff

In a May 13th meeting of the Board of Trustees, Queen’s University announced it would be increasing residence fees for one of its more affordable options, the “loft double.”

The announcement came along with a series of annual rate revisions for tuition and ancillary fees. 

According to Queen’s Housing & Ancillary Services, the loft doubles, which are single rooms converted into a shared space, are being reviewed because the cost of the rooms have historically been priced very low and apparently don’t reflect the full value of the meal plan.

“To reflect half of the single room cost plus the full cost of the meal plan, a 26% increase would be needed,” wrote the office of the Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal on behalf of Queen’s Housing and Ancillary Services. 

As residence rates are voted on two years in advance, the residence fee increases begin in 2023-2024.

When the increases begin, it will occur over a two year period, with the rate increasing 13.6% in 2023-2024 and will increase another 13.6% in 2024-2025. 

The rate of other residence rooms, such as a standard single room, single plus, double, triple room and quad will also be increasing, between 2.50% and 3.75% respectively.

Currently, a standard single room at Queen’s Residences costs about $15,760, while a loft-double costs $8,937. By 2025, the cost of a loft-double will have increased to just over $12,000. 

Former occupants of loft doubles told YGK News that they found the room to be “shockingly small”, but chose to stay in the room due to the cost savings associated with it. 

A tour of the Loft Double at Victoria Hall. Students share a single sized room with through the use of bunk beds. It’s touted as the most “affordable” residence. Video curtesy of Ashley Mallia.

“I think the value was okay, the rooms are shockingly small, but my roommate and I got along really well and still live together so it worked out,” Erin, who lived in a loft double in Victoria Hall, told YGK News.

“I would definitely not pay $12,000 for that room though. We literally were in bunk beds and had very little storage, so I don’t think it’s worth that much.”

Another former resident noted that they stayed in loft doubles due to their tight budget, with the present cost of the residence being equivalent to living off campus for a year.

“If the room were to be 11-12k, I would absolutely not stay there again,” one student told YGK News.

“I come from a low income household, the only way I was able to afford living in residency was because of OSAP and scholarships, and still I barely had enough money to afford it.”

Queen’s University maintains that the rate previously offered doesn’t reflect the meal plan students receive, mandatory for those staying in residence.

“While demand for these accommodations has been low, it offers significant savings compared to a full-sized double room and includes all residence services, supports, amenities, and the full meal plan,” Queen’s wrote in a statement.

“The rate for these rooms has not historically reflected the value of the room and all associated services, including the meal plan. The increase reflects the cost of a full meal plan and shared room.”

Despite the significant price increases, the loft double will remain the most affordable option for students living in residence.