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.

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, chronic health conditions, or other considerations.

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, chronic health conditions or other considerations.

Applications for Priority Consideration must include supporting medical documentation. 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 condition and request for priority consideration.

Students should apply for priority consideration when they complete their online Housing application. If you miss completing the PCR application when you apply to Housing, please email prar@uvic.ca.

The Priority Consideration Process

Students may request Priority Consideration to residence or Family Housing based on restrictions or 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, 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.

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 using campus services. The team cannot approve student requests for Priority Consideration which are made solely on the basis of seeking a supportive living environment for their mental and/or physical wellbeing.

Reasons to Request Priority Consideration

Students may request priority consideration for the following:

  • A specific type of housing (i.e. wheelchair accessible or apartment style)
  • A space in housing (i.e. 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)
  • Medical (chronic health)
  • Disability (mobility/hearing/vision/other)
  • Religious (observances/practices) or
  • Other (specified by student)

The university may give students priority admittance to specific housing based on religious or spiritual observances or practices, if they are admitted through regular admissions eligibility.

Application criteria

  • 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 apartment-style) 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 would like to bring or is requesting specialized equipment/furniture.
  • 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 other considerations. 
  • 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.

Priority Consideration Vs. Standard Assignments

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 (Recommended option)
    • 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, or receiving a re-offer in a building or room type that you are not interested in.

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 that cannot be met in off-campus housing.
  2. Applications must clearly describe the student’s (or dependants) daily functional requirements in relation to the disability or health condition, and/or other considerations.
  3. Section D of the application must be completed by a registered Physician, Nurse Practitioner, Psychologist or another qualified professional with credentials appropriate to assess the applicant’s accommodation needs. 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 condition and request for priority consideration. Students are not required to disclose their diagnosis, but may do so if they wish.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Decision Process

  • Priority Consideration Requests will be reviewed by a Priority Consideration Team made up of professional staff from Health Services, Counseling Services, Centre for Accessible Learning, Office of Student Life, Food Services and Residence Services Departments, as applicable.
  • Approval decisions will be made based upon:
    1. Functional restrictions or limitations and;
    2. Availability of appropriate housing and campus resources, including space and services. (The student must understand and acknowledge their responsibility to be self-sufficient, including being able to effectively coordinate their own personal needs while in residence, including using campus services.)
  • The presence of a disability or chronic health condition alone does not qualify a student for Priority Consideration.
  • 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.
  • All late applications, if approved, will be placed on a waitlist to be prioritized after move-in day. (See below for application deadlines.)

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. 

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 who request additional bed space for live-in care attendant(s) will be considered and assigned a suitable space.

The university may also approve priority consideration requests to specific housing based on religious or spiritual observances or practices.

Student-staff must submit their Priority Consideration Request form (PCR) and supporting documentation within one month (30 days) of accepting their Student Staff Placement. Priority Consideration Requests received after this deadline will still be reviewed; however, room placement is subject to availability and may change your neighbourhood assignment.

If submitting documentation by email, we recommend encrypting the attachment. Instructions for encrypting a file can be found on the UVic University Systems website

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 in this document.

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 normally 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.

Deadlines for submitting your PCR form

  • If you are applying for September 2022, submit the priority consideration form and supporting documentation by June 1, 2022
  • If you are applying for January 2023, submit the priority consideration form and supporting documentation by November 1, 2022

Note: All late applications, if approved, will be placed on a waitlist to be prioritized after move-in day.

Students may submit their 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).