Ryerson University partners with startup StayBillety to address student housing shortage

Finding roommates and affordable accommodations can be a challenge when starting out at a university.

To help university students find the best roommates, Ryerson University in Toronto has announced a partnership with StayBillety, an online accommodation service that connects “like-minded” guests with hosts. The service is targeted to people travelling for competitions, concerts, and business trips, and connects them with guests with shared interests.

Universities and colleges, along with national and international organizations, are a strong market for StayBillety.

The partnership between StayBillety and Ryerson’s Off-Campus Housing Office is aimed at providing students with more affordable housing. The service allows students to book short-term housing, rather than long-term leases, with each those offering a space in the broader Ryerson community.

In addition to listing their available spaces for days or months, students will have the option of posting requests to the site to help them connect with potential like-minded roommates.

Visiting faculty, exchange students, and alumni will also be able to use StayBillety to find affordable accommodation associated within Ryerson’s community.

According to Valerie Bruce, a coordinator for housing operations and administration at Ryerson, the university launched its off-campus housing office this year to provide students with assistance when looking for off-campus housing. The partnership with StayBillety came as a “relationship-builder” to provide students with as many options of off-campus accommodations as possible.

“StayBillety is a unique, safe, and comfortable way for our students to connect with each other and with housing opportunities in Ryerson’s neighbourhood, especially in cases where they are looking for a shorter-term accommodation option,” said Valerie Bruce, a coordinator for housing operations and administration at Ryerson.

Barbara Jones, the founder and CEO of StayBillety and a Ryerson alumna, says that when she was at Ryerson, finding suitable and affordable housing in Toronto wasn’t easy. According to a report from The Eyeopener, Ryerson has about 1,000 beds available.

“It’s much more challenging today,” said Jones. “StayBillety will help members of the Ryerson community connect. It’s about tribes. People who share interests can use our site to share their extra space.”

Jones added that universities and colleges, along with national and international organizations, are a strong market for StayBillety. “A school, like Ryerson, in a major urban centre has different needs and use cases and poses business[es] different opportunities than say, the University of Waterloo,” said Jones. “The use cases include short and medium term accommodation opportunities for visitors and, in the case of Ryerson, for commuter students who may need to save some time during crunch academic periods and stay closer to campus for study sessions rather than spend time traveling to and from home.”

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.