Students with specialized housing requirements

If you're a student with a disability or a chronic health condition, you may be eligible for priority consideration. Students who require a specific type of housing or priority admittance to on-campus housing must complete their Priority Consideration request with their housing application. 

Priority consideration is defined as priority admittance to a specific type of housing in residence and/or priority admittance to housing outside of current admissions practices or eligibility criteria, based on restrictions or limitations resulting from disability or chronic health conditions.

Priority Consideration may also be defined as the need for an exception to current practices and/or policies, based on restrictions or limitations resulting from disability or chronic health conditions.

Applications for Priority Consideration must include supporting medical documentation from a qualified professional. Documentation must outline specific functional limitations associated with the student’s disability or health condition. A clear and logical link must be identified between the functional limitations and the requirements described in the priority consideration application.

 

The Priority Consideration Process

Students may request Priority Consideration to residence or Family Housing based on restrictions or functional limitations resulting from a disability or chronic health condition affecting them or a live-in dependent (in the case of Family Housing). Residence Services provides accessibility features in a number of residence types (single and double rooms, Pod-style housing, Cluster Housing, residence apartments and Family Housing units), and we are committed to working with eligible students to determine suitable accommodation. Student residences, however, are considered temporary and/or transitional living spaces and acceptance in priority housing for one term does not guarantee acceptance in future terms. The Priority Consideration Team conducts assessments for every application received.

 

Student Responsibility

Residence is identified as a high density living environment and it may be difficult to control this environment to the extent that is required to support some students’ needs. Students who submit a Priority Consideration request must understand and acknowledge their responsibility to be self-sufficient, including being able to effectively coordinate their own personal needs while in residence, including accessing campus services.

The team cannot approve student requests for Priority Consideration which are made solely on the basis of seeking a supportive living environment. Campus resources such as the Student Wellness Centre and the Centre for Accessible Learning are available to all UVic students equally. Living on-campus does not grant priority access to these services. 

Reasons to Request Priority Consideration

Students may request priority consideration for the following:

  • A specific type of housing (i.e. wheelchair accessible or kitchen access)
  • Priority admittance (i.e. for students not guaranteed housing)
  • An exception to general practices and/or eligibility criteria (i.e., reduced course load, specialized equipment, emotional support animal)

Student requests may be related to one or more of the following:

  • Dietary (anaphylaxis/severe food allergies/other)
    • A specific type of housing
  • Medical (chronic health)
    • A specific type of housing
    • Priority admittance
    • Exception to general practices or eligibility criteria
  • Disability (mobility/hearing/vision/other)
    • A specific type of housing
    • Priority admittance
    • Exception to general practices or eligibility criteria

 

Application examples

  • Applicants and/or current residents may apply for Priority Consideration under one or more of the following conditions: The student meets the criteria for the University’s first-year guarantee and wants to request access to a specific type of housing (i.e. wheelchair accessible or access to a kitchen) based on restrictions or limitations resulting from a disability or chronic health condition.
  • The student does not meet the criteria for the University’s first-year guarantee and requests Priority Consideration for a space in residence or Family Housing and/or to obtain a specific type of housing, based on restrictions or limitations resulting from a disability or chronic health condition.
  • The student will be living in residence with a Certified Guide or Service Dog and/or is requesting to live in Residence with an emotional support animal (ESA). Students requesting to live with an ESA are required to submit a Clinical Recommendation in addition to the PCR form.
  • The student is requesting an exception be made to current practices and/or policies as a result of restrictions or limitations resulting from a disability, chronic health condition or personal characteristic protected in the BC Human Rights Code. 
  • The student would like to bring or is requesting specialized equipment/furniture.
  • The student plans to or has registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning to study at a reduced course load due to restrictions or limitations resulting from a disability or chronic health condition, and therefore does not meet current residence eligibility criteria.

Requests that are not related to disability or chronic health conditions (such as religious observances or gender specific housing) may be submitted in writing to the Manager, Resident Support at ssmr@uvic.ca

Eligibility for Priority Consideration

  1. Students (and/or live-in dependants of Family Housing residents/applicants) must have an appropriately documented disability-related or chronic health condition.
  2. The student must be capable of adhering to the Residence Contract and Community Standards in residence or to the Family Housing Agreement in Family Housing.
  3. Students who have previously lived in residence at the University of Victoria must be in good standing, both financially and in all other aspects of the Residence Contract for their application to be considered.

Application and documentation

  1. Applications must clearly describe the student’s (or dependants) daily functional requirements in relation to the disability or health condition.
  2. There must be a clear statement outlining why their daily functional requirements cannot be met in off-campus housing, or why they require a specific type of on-campus housing.
  3. Section D of the application must be completed by a registered Physician, Nurse Practitioner, Psychologist or another qualified professional with credentials to diagnose and prescribe treatment.
  4. Medical documentation must include specific functional limitations associated with the student’s disability or health condition. A clear and logical link must be identified between the functional limitations and the requirements described in the priority consideration applicaiton.
  5. Students are not required to disclose their diagnosis, but may do so if they wish.

Returning Applicants

  • The University of Victoria conducts assessments of all Priority Consideration requests for every application received, in order to determine length of stay and support students’ transition to living off campus. Therefore, returning applicants must submit the Priority Consideration Request form with every application to residence/Family Housing. As noted above, student residences are considered temporary and/or transitional living spaces and acceptance in priority housing for one term does not guarantee acceptance in future terms.
  • Students who submit supporting professional documentation with one application will not be required to resubmit documentation in future years’ applications, unless there are changes to the student’s request and/or the documentation, and/or the Priority Consideration Team requests updated documentation. 
  • Students living in residence for the Spring term (January to April) who are interested in Summer term (May to August) housing, must submit their Priority Consideration Request by March 1st.

Deadlines and how to submit your request

Deadlines

Summer PCR deadline

  • Students living in residence for Spring term (January to April), applying for Summer 2024, must submit their priority consideration form and supporting documentation by March 1, 2024.
  • All other students applying for Summer 2024 must submit the priority consideration form and supporting documentation 30 days prior to your requested arrival date.

Fall PCR Deadline

  • If you applying for September 2024, submit the priority consideration form and supporting documentation by May 15, 2024.

Spring PCR Deadline

  • If you are applying for January 2025, submit the priority consideration form and supporting documentation by November 1, 2024

How to submit your request

Students may submit their request form and supporting medical documentation in person to the Residence Office, by fax to 250-472-4086 or by email to prar@uvic.ca.

If you choose to send by email we recommend encrypting the file and sending as an attachment. Please use your PCR Application Reference as the password. This identifier can be found on your downloaded Request form next to your UVic Student number.

Instructions for encrypting a file can be found on the [UVic University Systems website](https://www.uvic.ca/systems/support/informationsecurity/fileencryption/index.php). 

Late Applications

  • All late applications, if approved, will be placed on a waitlist. Offers will be sent as availability allows. See Deadlines and how to submit your request section. 
  • If you apply for Priority Consideration after you have received a room offer through the standard admissions process, your request will be placed on a waitlist.
  • The University of Victoria cannot guarantee placement for all approved requests. Placement is dependent upon availability of suitable accommodation.

 

Priority Consideration vs. Standard Assignments

Students who require a specific type of housing must submit their Priority Consideration Request with their housing application.

The standard residence assignment process (non-PCR admissions) runs at the same time as the PCR process. The PCR process is confidential and because of this, it is possible that students may receive a room offer through the standard admissions process prior to their PCR application being reviewed.

All offers made through the Priority Consideration process are emailed and will be identified in the subject line as a Priority Consideration placement. If your room offer does not say Priority Consideration in the subject line, you have two options:

  1. Accept the room that you were offered through the standard process (to ensure you secure a space in on-campus housing)
    • If the PCR team then approves your request, the team will make a room change and send you your new room offer.
    • If the PCR team does not approve your request, you may submit a room transfer request in September/January through our standard process for all residents
  2. Decline the room that you were offered through the standard process.
    • If the PCR team then approves your request, you will be offered a room through this process.
    • If the PCR team does not approve your request, you may run the risk of not receiving a re-offer through the standard process.

Decision Process

  • Priority Consideration Requests will be reviewed by a Priority Consideration Team made up of professional staff from the Student Wellness Centre, the Centre for Accessible Learning, the Office of Student Life, University Food Services and Residence Services departments, as applicable.
  • Approval decisions will be made based upon the committee's assessment that:
    1. The student's daily functional limitations require
      1. on-campus housing and cannot be met in off-campus housing,
      2. and/or require a specific type of housing
      3. and/or an exception to general practices and;
    2. Appropriate housing and campus resources are available.
    3. The student understands and acknowledges their responsibility to be self-sufficient, including being able to effectively coordinate their own personal needs while in residence, including accessing campus services.
  • Students whose Priority Consideration Request is not successful will still be considered under the standard residence application process; provided that they meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Decisions on acceptance of a Priority Consideration Request will be communicated in writing to applicants as quickly as possible after the Priority Consideration Team has received and reviewed the Priority Consideration Request.

PCR Decision Appeals process

Appeals to the Priority Consideration Team may be made on the following grounds:

  1. Relevant information that is sufficient to alter the Priority Consideration Team’s decision emerges that was unavailable at the time of the decision; or
  2. The Priority Consideration Team did not adhere to the procedures outlined here.

Please Note: An applicant may not appeal a decision based solely on disagreement with the decision made.

  • Appeal requests submitted on grounds of 1) new, relevant information, must be submitted to the Priority Consideration Team within five (5) business days from the date of the Priority Consideration Team’s response letter denying the applicant’s Priority Consideration Request. Appeals will be re-evaluated by the Priority Consideration Team based on the applicant’s written appeal submission and supporting documentation. An in-person hearing will typically not be provided.
  • Appeal requests submitted on the grounds of 2) must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director of Student Services (or designate) within five (5) business days from the date of the Priority Consideration Team’s response letter denying the applicant’s Priority Consideration Request. Please include a clear statement of: (i) how the Priority Consideration Team failed to adhere to the procedures outlined in this document and (ii) the remedy or relief sought in the appeal. If the Executive Director of Student Services or designate determines that a procedural error occurred, the matter will be referred back to the Priority Consideration Team for re-evaluation.

Student-staff requests

Student-staff are expected to live on campus and can request Priority Consideration to a specific type of residence based on restrictions or limitations resulting from a disability or chronic health condition.

Student staff Neighbourhood Assignments (work teams) can be impacted by room placement locations.

Student staff may request priority consideration for the following:

  • A specific type of housing (i.e. wheelchair accessible or a space with access to cooking facilities)
  • An exception to general practices and/or eligibility criteria (i.e. specialized equipment, emotional support animal)

Student-staff must submit their Priority Consideration Request form (PCR) and supporting documentation within 30 days of accepting their Student Staff position. Requests received after the 30 day period or after May 1st will still be reviewed; however, room placement is subject to availability. Approved requests may be waitlisted or a change your neighbourhood and/or staff assignment may be required.

Student-staff who receive and accept a Student Staff position after May 1st may submit a request through Priority Consideration. However, room placement is subject to availability and approved requests may be waitlisted or a change your neighbourhood and/or staff assignment may be required.

Requests for kitchen access as they related to specific dietary needs will be considered if it is determined that University Food Services cannot accommodate your needs. You must contact University Food Services at unfsdietitian@uvic.ca detailing your dietary needs and seeking confirmation of their ability or inability to accommodate your dietary needs. This information should be included with your request for access to a kitchen.

The university may also approve requests for specific housing based on religious or spiritual observances or practices and/or gender specific housing. These requests may be submitted in writing to the Manager, Student Support at ssmr@uvic.ca for consideration.