Vancouver Rental Shortage Driving Up Student Housing Waitlists

With few off-campus options, UBC students scramble to secure increasingly in-demand student housing
Andrea Nazarian
August 29, 2017

Vancouver's rental housing shortage and increasingly expensive rental rates are pushing more students at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to apply for student housing than ever before, creating lengthy waitlists and driving up an already massive demand for student housing at the University.  

In a Global News report, Andrew Parr, UBC's managing director of student housing, explained that the University is receiving more last-minute requests for housing from students who would have otherwise lived in off-campus rental units. Nearly 6,000 students are on the waitlist for housing this year, Parr said, an increase of nearly 3,000 since 2010. Rental rates for campus housing also increased by 20% in 2015. 

"The Vancouver housing crunch is a significant player," Parr told Global. "Finding affordable and proximal housing to UBC here in the Point Grey area, arguably the most expensive real estate in the country...there's a shrinking number of rental units near UBC and the rent has gotten higher."

Parr explained to Global that many students have come to the University desperate and empty-handed after trying to find suitable rental housing in the city. In response to this, the University has added 750 units to the Point Grey campus this year and has also begun experimenting with "nano suites." 

The "suites" measure 140 square feet, are fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, small fridge and study area, and will be rented out for between $675-$695 per month. Seventy nano suites are slated to be completed at UBC by 2019.  

Take a tour of one of UBC's "nano suites" below. 

Andrea Nazarian
Andrea is the Content and Social Media Specialist at Andrea has over five years of multi-industry experience in communications and content marketing. Originally from Toronto, Andrea moved to Vancouver in April 2016 and has been loving the West Coast life ever since.