UBC Student Housing Proposal Media Backgrounder

University News

The University of British Columbia Board of Governors is considering a proposal from UBC for the creation of a new government business enterprise (GBE) to address unprecedented demand for on-campus student housing in Vancouver and Kelowna.

  • UBC Hospitality Trust (HOST), if approved later this year, would be a publicly owned and financially self-sustaining business entity for student residence development with greater borrowing flexibility.
  • A GBE would have its own Board of Directors, including two proposed student Directors with appointments made by the UBC Board of Governors.
  • A GBE would be entirely owned by UBC, would deliver services to UBC students and act on behalf of the university. In addition to Student Housing, HOST would oversee Conference and Accommodation and Food Services operations.
  • UBC continues to work with provincial and federal government partners to resolve technical isssues so that the proposal can go ahead.
  • It’s hoped the proposal can return to the Board of Governors in the fall of 2018 for final approval, with potential establishment of the GBE in April of 2019.
  • UBC has more on-campus students housing than any university in Canada (currently 11,796 beds in Vancouver and 1,680 in Kelowna), but demand is growing with an average summer waitlist of 6,200 and an average commute time of 40 minutes for students living off-campus.
  • UBC aims to add at least 6,300 new beds over the next 10 years, for a total of 20,000 by 2028.
  • The high cost of off-campus housing is hampering current and prospective students’ access to UBC.
  • Pricing principles for on-campus student housing include providing rents at or below the Vancouver rental housing market price.
  • UBC Student Housing and Food Services currently has assets valued at approx. $1.2 billion and revenues of over $175 million.

For more information, please go to vancouver.housing.ubc.ca/host


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