Students at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) will have more access to affordable on-campus housing, including housing for students with families, as part of the British Columbia government’s 30-point housing plan.
“We’re opening the door to opportunity, by helping people find an affordable place to call home, while they pursue their studies,” said Premier John Horgan. “Building student housing will help young people, families and people from neighbouring communities access post-secondary education and skills training.
“At the same time, this investment will ease pressure on the off-campus rental market, creating more housing options for Kamloops residents.”
The $37-million student-housing project is adjacent to TRU campus, and will create 533 additional homes for students.
“Students throughout the province have told our government the lack of affordable housing has stood in the way of their education and aspirations,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
“In this year’s budget, we committed to fixing this problem. The additional housing for students at TRU is the first of thousands of student homes we’re going to be adding on campuses around the province. With more student housing, TRU will continue to be an education destination of choice.”
With the support of the Province, TRU is buying Upper College Heights, a six-building private rental complex with 391 student homes. Housing on the site will be expanded, creating an additional 142 student homes, including the first homes designed for students with families. The purchase includes an additional 3.4 hectares (8.4 acres) that can be used for creating more student housing in the future.
“When students have access to homes they can afford, they can focus on their studies, without the stress of trying to find a suitable place to live,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “At the end of the day, the benefits of this investment will be felt by the entire community. More on-campus spaces for students will increase the availability of rental housing in the wider community, and that will help improve the affordability of rental housing for everyone in Kamloops.”
Alan Shaver, president, Thompson Rivers University –
“TRU is a growing university, and our need for on-campus student housing continues to increase. This purchase will not only allow more students to live where they study, it lets us offer family residences for the first time.”
Tatiana Gilbert, president, TRU Student Union –
“Affordable and accessible student housing is one less worry for students. This announcement will help students in Kamloops focus on their education.”
- Thompson Rivers University has 872 homes at two student-residence complexes:
- TRU Residence is an 11-storey building with 570 homes in two- or four-bedroom units; and
- McGill Housing consists of three buildings, with a total of 302 single-room homes.
- A 2017 market and demand analysis found that TRU needed an additional 104 student-housing units by fall 2021, based on enrolment projections to guarantee housing for all first-year students who want it.
- Additional student homes on site are scheduled to open in September 2019.
- The Province is providing TRU with a loan of $25.5 million toward the $37-million student-housing project. The cost includes $33.4 million to buy Upper College Heights and $3.5 million for renovations.
- The Province is investing $450 million in new on-campus student housing at public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. to create up to 5,000 student homes over the next six years. From 2001-17, 130 student homes were directly funded by government.
- An additional 3,000 student homes will be built by post-secondary institutions through grants, non-government partnerships and institutional self-financing. These 8,000 total new student homes represent a 40% increase in current student-housing capacity.