How to apply for residence in the Housing Portal

First-year students–Guaranteed Housing - Book Now!

Housing is guaranteed to students newly admitted to undergraduate studies who meet the following criteria:

  • Admitted full time to an entry program (Professional programs are excluded.)
  • Not have completed more than 5 university courses  
  • Admitted before June 1, 2020. See dates and deadlines

Once you have been admitted, the next step is to book your room in the Housing Portal (an application found in uoZone). 

In the Housing Portal you can:

  • Select and book your room in the residence of your choice (pending availability)  
  • To change your choices once your application has been submitted, please send an email to residence@uOttawa.ca. Do not withdraw your request.  
  • Pay a $700 deposit online... 
    • by credit card. (The company issuing your card must have a branch in the United States).
    • by an alternative payment method.  (Processing your payment this way can take several days.)

Note: Your guarantee is valid up to June 1, 2020 (no later!) See dates and deadlines

First-year students–Standard application

All full-time students are welcome to apply for residence. If you do not meet the criteria for guaranteed housing (listed above), you can still apply for a room in the Housing Portal, via uoZone.

Compare our residences and make your choice. In doubt? Send an email to residence@uOttawa.ca and we will be happy to help you.

In the Housing Portal you can:

  • Select your housing preferences. To change your choices once your application has been submitted, please send an email to residence@uOttawa.ca. Do not withdraw your request.  
  • Pay a $700 deposit online... 
    • by credit card. (The company issuing your card must have a branch in the United States).
    • by an alternative payment method.  (Processing your payment this way can take several days.)

Standard applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis.

Second year and up students - Standard application

Whether you have lived in residence before or not, a wide range of options exist to suit the lifestyle and needs of upper year students. All full-time students are welcome to apply for residence.

In the Housing Portal you can:

  • Select your housing preferences. To change your choices once your application has been submitted, please send an email to residence@uOttawa.ca. Do not withdraw your request.  
  • Pay a $700 deposit online 
    • by credit card. (The company issuing your card must have a branch in the United States).
    • by an alternative payment method.  (Processing your payment this way can take several days.)

Standard applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis.

Summer Housing

During the summer months (May-August) the 90U - Stanton - Marchand Residential Complex, as well as the Rideau and the Friel Residences offer short term accommodation to thousands of visitors. A few floors are set aside for those who need accommodation for more than 30 days.

Reservations: 1-888-564-4545

The Annex, Hyman Soloway and 45 Mann Apartments

Apartment style residences are occupied year-round. Many rooms become available for students in May. To get one, look for a takeover or sublet opportunity on the Student Housing Billboard, contact the resident and apply via the Housing Portal, specifying who you are replacing, and where that person lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will find below answers to the most frequently asked questions.

How can I prepare before accessing the Housing Portal?

The Portal is designed to give you all the information you need to book your room or apply for residence. If you wish to do some research beforehand, you can have a look at the following resources:

How do I access the Housing Portal?

Log in to uoZone, and select the “Applications” tab in the top menu. Then choose “Housing Portal” from the list available.

What’s the difference between Book Now and the Application?  Why do I see one and not the other?

Depending on a variety of criteria, such as the type of applicant you are (returner or new student) and the time you apply (before or after certain deadlines), you may apply for Housing one of two ways:

  1. Book Now: This process allows you to pick a specific room immediately when you apply, pay your deposit, and receive an offer immediately.
  2. Application: This process allows you to specify room type preferences (between 3 and 7), and you will then be assigned a room by our assignment team and sent an offer according to the schedule outlined on the dates and deadline webpage.

Regardless of the method you use to apply, offers are sent based on when the request was received, and rooms are allocated simultaneously to those who use Book Now as well as to those who apply via application.

Why don’t I have access to the roommate pairing questions?

If you use the Book Now process, you will be selecting a specific room without regards to the other occupants of the room/unit.  In our experience, conflicts between roommates do not appreciably diminish whether or not students have been assigned randomly or as a result of pairing questions.  Attempts to pair students based on these questions still need to consider room preferences, availability, etc.  Also, keep in mind, these questions are very subjective: what one student views as “very clean”, another may disagree with.  There is no perfect system for pairing roommates!

Can I change my mind once I’ve selected a room using Book Now?

No. As indicated when you select “book now”, this is your last chance to change your mind about the room that you want.  As soon as you click “OK”, you will be offered the room you have just selected.  You cannot select another room, and you will not receive another offer, so it’s important that you take the time to make sure that you are actually booking the room and meal plan that you want.

Something went wrong!  I booked the wrong room or received an offer I didn’t want.  What do I do?

If you filled out an application and we sent you an offer that was not a high preference for you, it’s because your higher preferences were not available.

If you booked a room for yourself but made an error, contact our assignment team to see if anything can be done at residence@uOttawa.ca.  Do NOT withdraw or refuse your offer.

Why don’t I see any [this type of room]?

Some room types are more popular than others and therefore get booked very quickly.  If you don’t see a room or room type available, reset your filters on the room selection page to make sure that you’re seeing all possible options.  If you still don’t see the room type you want, it means that you should select an alternative choice because the one you are looking for is no longer available or is not available to your applicant type.  (For example, returners can only apply for 12-month buildings.)

When will I need to pay a deposit?

If you are a student with a guarantee in residence, then you have until June 1, 2020 to apply for residence in order to be guaranteed a room. However, your reservation is not finalized until your $700 deposit is received. This can be paid at the time you create your application or book your room.    Please refer to the important dates and deadlines concerning refunds to ensure that you are aware of the refund policies. All other students must pay the deposit when they accept their offer.  You can pay via credit card or by alternative method of payment within the Housing Portal.

I already know who I want to room with.  How do I get a room with that person?

If you have both been accepted and are ready to apply for Housing at the same time, we recommend that you go through the process at the same time on separate computers and first try to book your room together.

At the roommate question, specify the name of your roommate but indicate that your priority is “book my own room”.

Shows the request specific roommate question, where the student has ticked their confirmation of how the sharing works, indicated the name of their roommate, and set their priority to “book my own room”.

Capture of the Housing Portal.

Once you are on the room selection page, if you both have access to Book Now, we recommend that you look at the rooms available and each select a room/bed in the same unit.  This will allow you to book together immediately and know that you are roommates. 

If you can’t find a room that has both sides available, an alternative option is to complete the application route and ensure that you co-request to be together. Some students also prefer to pick rooms that are side by side or near one another.  You’ll have proximity without the pressures of living in the same room/unit.

If neither of you have access to Book Now, you will need to go back to the Roommates question and select “submit application/roommate” priority.  This means that our assignment team will prioritize putting you together as roommates over your room preferences.  This could mean getting put in a room type that is lower in your preferences.

Shows the request specific roommate question, where the student has ticked their confirmation of how the sharing works, indicated the name of their roommate, and set their priority to “submit application/roommate”.

Capture of the Housing Portal.

If one of you has access to Book Now and the other doesn’t, if you agree to prioritise being roommates, you should change your preference on the roommate question to “submit application/roommate” priority.  This means that our assignment team will prioritise putting you together as roommates over your room preferences.

Note that if one of you prioritises room preference and one of you prioritises roommate, you may not be paired together.

Even if you both prioritise being roommates, you may still not be paired together if we don’t have fully vacant rooms, etc.  We do not guarantee that roommates can be paired.

If you aren’t applying at the same time (one of you has a later acceptance than the other), keep in mind that even if you both prioritise “submit application/roommate”, we may assign the first applicant a room before the second person has applied, because of room availability or because one roommate  may not be accepted or may not apply for residence after all. 

When will I find out who my roommate is?

We send out several rounds of emails letting you know who your roommates are (if applicable) in July and August.  Names and email addresses are communicated unless a student has not agreed to the sharing of the information when they applied.

Is the application process mobile-friendly?

Although it is possible to log-in to the Housing Portal and apply on a phone or tablet, for the best experience, we recommend using a desktop or laptop.

How do I narrow down my choices?

The University of Ottawa has almost 4,200 rooms in eleven different residences, with roughly 30 different room types.  When you first get to the room selection screen, you’ll see every room type listed and every possible combination..  That’s dozens upon dozens of options!

To narrow down your choices, use the filters at the top of the screen to prioritize:

Image of the filters on the room selection page, showing a price slider and drop downs for buildings, bedroom types, agreement length, meal plan, gender options, and LLC options, as well as a drop-down for sorting results and the reset filters button.

Capture of Housing Portal.

If you know for sure that you want a 7-day meal plan, an 8-month residence, and not to pay more than 20 000 for the year, make those changes in the filters.

This reduces your room choices.  You can use the compare feature to check between two and four room options side by side.

If you restrict to something that shows you no results (i.e. You select “90U” as the building but there’s nothing available), use the “reset filters” button to reset to all options and start again.

I see an option to apply for 4 months only.  Can I apply just for four months and move off campus in January?

  Note that priority goes first to those who want an 8- or 12-month agreement.  A housing guarantee does not apply for stays of only 4 months.

In Book Now, it’s only when I select “Choose Room” that the system tells me that no room is available.  That’s so annoying!

Once a building’s inventory is completely exhausted, we remove it from the system so that you don’t see it at all.  However, it’s possible that you will still see a building look available because there are some rooms left but they’re for the wrong gender.  It’s only at the “choose room” stage that the system verifies exactly which rooms are available to you.  We’re sorry for the frustration, but if this happens, you need to look for a different room type.

I am coming for four months only, but the totals for my room seem really high!

The totals listed on the room selection screen are for either 8 months or 12 months, as specified.  If you receive a 4-month offer, the total would be reduced to match the 4-month period.

How do I know what meal plan to choose?

You can check out the meal plan website to find out lots of information about the meal plan and make an educated choice about which mean plan you want.

The Meal Plan 101 video gives you a good overview of the different meal plans. 

How many preferences do I have to select if I am filling out an application?

You have to select a minimum of three preferences to continue with the application.  The maximum is seven.

What is included in the total price on the room selection page?

The total price is for the specified number of months.  It includes internet, utilities, and the meal plan if you selected a room type with a meal plan.

Image of the Stanton traditional single room card, with arrows pointing to the meal plan type (7 day), the room agreement length (8 months), and the total price ($14 054).

Capture of the Housing Portal.

I cancelled my application or withdrew my offer acceptance prior to the deadline and am owed a refund.  Where’s my money?

Once you have cancelled or withdrawn from the University of Ottawa, you will also need to go in the Housing Portal and cancel or withdraw your residence application or offer.  If any money is owed to you, you need to request the reimbursement in uoZone.  Otherwise, the credit sits in your student account, because it is not automatically returned to you.  Request a refund through the refund request form.

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