Demand still outstrips B.C. post-secondary student housing supply amid move-in weekend

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Demand outstrips post-secondary student housing supply
It's moving weekend for thousands of university students across B.C. but as Travis Prasad reports, finding housing on campus is getting more and more difficult. – Sep 3, 2022

Thousands of post-secondary students in B.C. are moving into their new homes on campus this weekend.

Excitement is in the air at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University as students get settled in before the school year begins.

“We’ve got (more than) 1,400 students moving in today, along with their family and friends here to help them with their transition and welcome them to our residence on-campus community,” said Zoe Woods, SFU’s housing director.

However, not everyone is lucky enough to get a place on campus and some have to rent places that are less than ideal.

UBC engineering student Joshua Yang just signed a lease for a bedroom in a house inside Vancouver’s West Side neighbourhood.

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The bedroom is $900 a month but he shares it with a roommate.

Yang said to secure his housing, he had to reach out to more than 60 ads.

”It was very competitive. Every time a message was posted, you have dozens of people messaging the person who sent out the ad within a couple of minutes. This is why I decided to send out a large amount of requests within a short period of time,” Yang said.

UBC’s waitlist for on-campus housing is currently 5,000 students long, the largest waitlist the university has ever seen, according to officials.

The university is trying to address the issue and officials said 3,500 more beds are to be added in “the coming years.”

“We’re continuing to invest. We invested over $600 million in student housing the last ten years,”  said Andrew Parr, UBC Student housing associate vice president.

“We’ve added over 5,500 beds, but that is not keeping up with demand.”

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