UBC Student Housing Media Backgrounder

Vancouver campus

  • UBC has more on-campus housing than any university in Canada with 11,796 beds as of September 2017. By 2019, we will have 12,500 beds.
  • All first-year students who wish to live on campus and apply on time have a guaranteed spot in student residence.
  • Demand for affordable student housing is significant, which is why the university is investing close to half a billion dollars in new student housing developments between 2015 and 2020. UBC has added 2,950 beds since 2011 including:
    • $43-million Totem Park Infill 1 – opened in 2011 with 567 beds
    • $165.5-million Ponderosa Commons – opened in 2014 and 2016 with 1,150 beds
    • $127.5-million Orchard Commons – opened in September 2016 with 1,047 beds
    • $51.5-million Brock Commons (Tallwood House) – opened in July 2017 with 404 beds
    • $32-million Totem Infill – opened in August 2017 with 350 beds
  • Two additional projects – one in construction and one at the early design stage – will add another 1,300 beds by 2021. By then, with 13,100 beds on the Vancouver campus, UBC will be one of the largest student housing providers in North America.
  • UBC has land set aside to build up to 17,000 beds in future should demand continue to grow.
  • Of UBC’s student residences, approximately 40 per cent are occupied by new first-year students and 60 per cent by upper year and graduate students. Approximately 40 per cent of our inventory is year-round housing, and 60 per cent serves the winter session.
  • Returning students and graduate students have access to both winter session and year-round residences. Additionally, there are 626 townhouses and apartments for students with families on year-round contracts.
  • In 2014, our year-round student residences that we offer to returning students had a 12 per cent vacancy rate at the start of the contract term (May). In 2015, that vacancy rate was three per cent and since 2016, we have been at capacity with a growing waitlist.

Okanagan campus

Currently, there are 1,676 student beds at UBC Okanagan with plans to expand to 2,106 beds by 2020. UBC is investing an estimated $61.3 million in two buildings with a total of 440 beds and a new commons block (with a 24-hour front desk and a dining facility).


Matthew Ramsey
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604-827-0781
Cell: 604-518-5835
Email: matthew.ramsey@ubc.ca