BoG Releases Final Plan to Do Nothing on Student Housing Affordability

Recommended Housing Action Plan Policies


Policy 8
To support the University’s continuing transition from a commuter campus to a more complete university community, UBC will aspire to provide capacity to accommodate student housing for up to 50% of the 2010 full time student enrollment, subject to debt capacity, financial capacity within the university, student demand and necessary combination of project characteristics such as unit mix.

Policy 9
To better respond to the increasingly diverse housing needs and demands of students including undergraduate, graduate and students with families, UBC will continue with the Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) business plan to expand the supply of student housing and the range of unit types and sizes. (e. g. studio units, 4-6 bedroom style units, and furnished and unfurnished 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units)

Policy 10
To help address housing affordability concerns for students, the University will increase on-campus dedicated student housing supply, will continue to limit rental rates based on a self-supporting, fully cost-recovery basis, and will operate in a fiscally responsible fashion to ensure rates are maintained at or below market rental rates.

Policy 11
To help address the gap between the shelter allowance portions of BC’s student loan program and current rental rates at UBC, the University will develop on behalf of students an advocacy strategy seeking greater housing allowance in Provincial financial aid programs for lower income students on student loans.

Policy 12
To improve awareness of graduate student housing opportunities, the University, through SHHS, will review and adjust its communication and marketing strategy as needed.

Policy 13
To provide enhanced opportunities for community building for graduate students, the University through SHHS will develop additional programming in consultation with the Graduate Student Society and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Policy 14
To support the University’s mixed use objectives for the Gage South area, the University will develop Gage South for student housing, with priority for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.


TL;DR: Lots of words, no real action here. While the moves made by BoG in the last few years to enable the building of lots of new student housing are very welcome and full credit should be given to them, it won’t possibly meet its potential if the affordability aspect continues to be ignored. Lots of cheaper accommodation can still be found in Dunbar, Kits, and other neighbourhoods. UBC Student Housing is still expected to pay out a ~$4 Million dividend to the university every year, essentially making student housing a for-profit enterprise. End the dividend.


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