The $25 million, 220-unit, on-campus housing will be funded by the province and UBCO internal funds. (Artist rendering)

More student housing for UBC Okanagan

B.C. government to build $25-million, on-campus building to address high demand, low vacancy rate

The Government of British Columbia is adding an additional 220-unit, on-campus affordable student housing project to UBC Okanagan to address a more than 1,000 student-waitlist and tight rental market.

“Student housing is more than just buildings, they’re unique communities that support learners as they work towards their career of choice,” Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark said. “The expansion of on-campus housing at UBC’s Okanagan campus will reduce the burden in finding an affordable place to live.”

Kelowna has a private rental vacancy rate of 1.9 per cent with rentals of a one-bedroom suite averaging over $1,280. The city has been dubbed the seventh most expensive rental market in Canada with Vancouver and Toronto taking the top two spots.

READ MORE: Kelowna is seventh most expensive rental market in Canada

“I’m proud our government is continuing to move forward on our commitment to build student homes throughout the province,” Mark said.

Skeena, as the project will be called, will consist of a six-storey building with concrete grounds. The 6,750 square-metre building will include lounges, study spaces, activity rooms and laundry.

Skeena is designed to meet the Passive House standard supporting CleanBC—the province’s long-term climate strategy.

Passive House, an internationally recognized, high-performance building standard that was developed in Germany, uses insulation to reduce energy use by up to 90 per cent compared to conventional buildings. Skeena will also fall under BC Step Code 4 and will be outfitted as a “living lab.” Researchers will be able to monitor the building’s energy performance over time.

Skeena will cost a total of $25 million with 75 per cent of the funding coming from the province. UBCO will cover the remaining 25 per cent balance from internal sources. It will pay back the government loan through rental income from the building.

READ MORE: UBCO addressing on-campus student housing needs

“It’s great to see the province investing in affordable student housing,” the president of the school’s Students’ Union Romil Jain said. “As a student myself, we face incredibly difficult finding affordable housing due to the lack of availability and high rental rate.”

“With so many other pressures, the last thing students should be worried about is residence,” he said. “I look forward to further investment in this sector to help remove this burden of the student’s mind.”

The University of British Columbia is also developing a second 220-unit student housing facility called Nechako. When both Nechako and Skeena are done, the UBCO can provide housing for 2,120 students.

Work on both Skeena and Nechako is underway and construction is expected to be complete by 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Just Posted

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

UPDATE: Second collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm now clear

Emergency crews respond to motor-vehicle collision near Second Nations Road intersection

CSRD to seek public assent to borrow $1.77 million for park purchase

Formal opposition from 10 per cent of electors required to halt loan

Air ambulance called to Highway 1 crash near Tappen

The collision happened about 3:30 p.m. by James Road

Food trucks feed festivalgoers’ want for unique dining experience

Roots and Blues returns with variety of vendors, continues with recycle and compost program

Video: Crowd thrilled at S-Games in Sicamous

The celebration of two-wheeled transportation showed off daring athletes on all kinds of bikes.

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Backhoe ‘burned to a crisp’ in South Okanagan

South Okanagan fire chief said the situation could have been a lot worse

Our history in pictures: The Ireland residence

According Salmon Arm Museum records, this image was taken in front of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Letter: Make CSRD directors’ term limit subject to alternative approval process

Writer upset by regional district’s recent “money pit” proposals

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Controversial anti-abortion film to be screened in the South Okanagan

Unplanned will be shown at the Penticton Landmark theatre

Most Read