On August 30th, 2023, the Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association sent an information bulletin to their members titled “Housing Concerns for Students.” It was in response to an email sent out by the university requesting that faculty and staff consider renting their available spaces to students who need affordable housing.
MUNFA stated, “We see this request as a blatant attempt to download the city’s housing crisis and the cost-of-living crisis facing students onto the backs of faculty and staff.” They point out that this is especially concerning as the Vice-President of Administration and Finance lobbied against the development of more affordable housing units in St. John’s.
MUNFA highlighted that the university’s request may place faculty and staff in situations with potential legal and tax-related ramifications. They said there was no transparency in communicating these implications. MUNFA stated, “Homeowners, particularly those in the midst of mortgage payments, must notify their mortgage lender, potentially leading to consequences. Renting might result in unanticipated penalties or violations of agreements. Insurance contracts also could contain clauses against using the property for rental purposes. Moreover, employee/landlords are obligated to report rental income on their taxes and navigate through supplementary paperwork.”
MUNFA offered the solution that the university should publicly lobby the governments to address the housing crisis instead of downloading it onto the backs of faculty.
See MUNFA’s information bulletin below:
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.