UBCO addressing on-campus student housing needs

UBCO addressing on-campus student housing needs

Further 440 bed commitment will add to existing 1,676 student campus housing inventory

A local developer’s claim that they’re meeting a dire need for university housing may be a bit misleading, says a UBCO official.

The Mission Group plans to begin sales on its U-Eight condo project in early 2019, and they’ve been saying the project will add 90 homes to within walking distance of UBCO, where enrolment has tripled to 9,945 students since 2005. There are currently 1,676 student on-campus beds and Shannon Dunn, the UBCO director of business operations says the developer’s claim that there’s a shortfall of 6,400 beds is a bit misleading.

Dunn says the marketing doesn’t take into account that 25 to 30 per cent of UBCO’s students come from the Okanagan Valley.

She said under UBCO’s 20-year master plan, an additional 2,250 on-campus beds are projected over the next two decades as student enrolment continues to climb.

RELATED: Apartments for sale with students in mind

She said UBCO’s on-campus housing percentage is likely to top out in the mid-20s, which is high compared to most universities across Canada. At the parent UBC campus in Vancouver, that percentage is closer to 20 per cent.

“We don’t need all those new beds right now based on our current enrolment but we have tried to look forward and anticipate where we need to be at. Right now, we have a commitment to add another 440 beds to open within the next 18 months to two years,” Dunn said.

She said UBCO makes a commitment to all out-of-town first year students to provide campus housing, to help them make that transition to university life.

“It’s a natural trajectory at most universities that students tend to live in campus the first and possibly second years, and then start to look at other living options within the community,” she said.

She said UBCO’s housing inventory took a giant leap adding 1,400 beds within a six year period from 2005 to 2011, a reflection of explosive growth cycle of the university over the last decade.

“We were responding to student enrolment demand at that time, and we’ve seen another blip upwards of late which is why we’ve made that further 440-bed commitment,” she said.

RELATED: Student unions lobby for housing rights

She said the university’s enrolment growth has sparked private development interest as well, which helps off-set the university’s student housing demands, citing the Mission Group’s efforts along with the Veda Group 500-unit student rental/sale apartment development next to the campus.

“Interested developers will come and ask us about our enrolment and campus housing plans. There is no formal partnership in those situations but housing projects like that help meet a need, especially with the vacancy rate being so low in recent years in Kelowna,” Dunn noted.

She said outside of campus, the Quail Ridge area provides accommodations for about 1,000 UBCO students, possibly due to many residents spending the winters down south.

“The September to April student time-frame seems to work well for residents in that area. I’m not sure exactly how or why but it does seem to be a convenient neighbourhood for students to find housing,” she said.

RELATED: ALR an option for affordable housing

When UBCO was initially established, Rutland and Glenmore were eyed as potential bedroom communities where UBCO students would naturally migrate to find housing.

Dunn said ultimately, what has taken on added significance to geographic location is transit access, since enrolment fees for all students includes a universal bus pass.

“Anywhere with an accessible bus line connection to campus can become a convenient off-campus housing option.”

U-Eight is the final Mission Group project eyed for the university district. The previous seven projects have all sold out.

The price range for U-Eight units ranges from low $200,000’s for studio suites to mid-$400,000’s for three-bedroom layouts. Interested buyers can register at www.liveateight.com for more information.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The five graduating members of the Vernon-based Thompson Okanagan Lakers U18AAA girls hockey team – Jessica Engelbrecht (from left), Makenna Howe, Cheree Peters, Jayden Perpelitz, and Alexis Bishop – have all committed to collegiate hockey programs in Canada and the U.S. (Photo submitted)
Vernon-based hockey squad sends 5 to college ranks

Thompson Okanagan U18AAA Lakers players heading to Canadian and U.S. programs

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Police report outlines latest efforts to fight North Okanagan sex crimes

The local RCMP sex crimes unit has been involved in a number of investigations so far in 2021

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

RCMP. (Black Press File)
Major Crimes called in after two bodies discovered near Penticton

A manhunt involving a police helicopter took place on May 10

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

Most Read