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KPU exploring potential for student housing

KPU exploring potential for student housing

Thu, Jun 29, 2023
KPU Surrey Campus

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has begun a process that could eventually see its first student housing project built at its Surrey campus.

Last night (June 28), the university’s Board of Governors approved a motion to develop a business case to support a future application to the provincial government for project funding.

“We know there is demand for student housing, with low rental vacancy rates in the cities where we are located and a clear need identified in the most recent survey of our students,” said Peter Smailes, KPU Vice President, Administration.

The 2022 KPU student satisfaction survey found just over one-in-five students had temporary or crowded living arrangements, while data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows rental vacancy rates are below one per cent in the three cities – Richmond, Surrey and Langley – where the university has campuses. Student housing was also a need identified through the consultation process with the KPU and wider communities that led to development of the KPU2050 campus master plans.

KPU has identified its Surrey campus as the favoured location for an initial student housing project because of the rapid bus service anticipated to launch along the 72 Avenue corridor this fall and a planned campus daycare that will align with provincial government priorities.

“While it is too early to know whether the university’s application for provincial funding will be successful, we would like Surrey residents to know we are looking at this potential new stage in KPU’s growth,” adds Smailes. “There will be opportunities for students, employees, neighbours, and partners to provide input at the appropriate time if the housing initiative receives the funding needed to take it forward.”

The Government of British Columbia launched a program in 2018 to support the development of 8,000 new on-campus student beds across the province by 2028. With that money now largely allocated, the provincial government committed in the 2023 budget to providing $575 million to provide an extra 4,000 student beds in B.C.