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

Alan can be seen picking organic ambrosia apples on his Keremeos orchard, Old Tower Farm. The provincial government has partnered with the farm owners to lease a portion of their orchard to a new farmer. (Old Tower Farm photo)
Budding farmer gets his start on Keremeos orchard

Kanver Brares, 21, will grow the fruits of his labour on leased land at Old Tower Farms

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Most Read