In addition to ensuring we are able to build enough student housing supply to meet
the demand through the Student Housing Financing Endowment, The University Community on Campus – UBC’s Housing Action Plan supports the student experience through new housing and advocacy programs.
The Plan reaffirms UBC’s commitment in the Vancouver Campus Plan to provide the capacity to build enough student housing for 50% of the 2010 full-time student population, provided there is student demand and financial capacity.
Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) will continue to expand the supply of student housing on campus as well as the range of unit types and sizes through projects like Ponderosa Commons, which will provide 1,100 new beds over the next few years.
Currently, average rents for student housing on campus compare favorably with similar accommodation in Vancouver, and are lower than the majority of other Canadian universities. Rents at UBC are continually benchmarked against other universities across Canada and the market place. However, a key affordability issue for students relates to the gap between the shelter allowance portion of BC’s student loan program of $584 per month and current rental rates at UBC.
While recognizing that the student loan program is the purview of senior governments, the Plan also establishes that UBC will develop an advocacy strategy to increase the shelter allowance portion of the student loan program to address the gap between the shelter allowance and the current UBC and local rental rates.
To help address housing affordability concerns for students, UBC will continue to limit rental rates based on a self-supporting, fully cost-recovery basis. It will operate in a fiscally responsible fashion to ensure rates are maintained at or below market rental rates.
Specifically targeted for graduate students, the Plan commits to introducing new community-building programs, similar to those in undergraduate residences such as in-residence faculty lecture series and organized community engagement events such as book clubs, pot luck dinners and cooking classes. To accomplish this, UBC, through Student Housing and Hospitality Services, will develop additional programming in consultation with the Graduate Student Society (GSS) and the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
To improve awareness of graduate student housing opportunities, the University, through SHHS, will review and adjust its communication and marketing strategy as needed.
Housing in Gage South
To support UBC’s vision of creating a vibrant, sustainable campus community, the Gage South area is designated as 12-month housing for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. This housing will bring vibrancy to this area of campus.