This week I head over to UBC to meet with managing director of student housing and hospitality services – Andrew Parr. As the managing director, Andrew controls over 11,000 student residences, which makes him the largest landlord on the Westside of Vancouver.
In this episode, Andrew and I discuss what UBC is doing to address some of the housing affordability issues in Vancouver. As Andrew points out, the growth of UBC student housing is not just supporting students but supporting the overall Vancouver marketplace.
Since 2007 UBC has created 3000 new residences, which effectively added to the overall rental stock in Vancouver. The newest student housing project will add 70 new 140 square foot nano-suites, each of which has its own bathroom and furniture including a hidden desk-bed.
Andrew and I met 15 years ago while I was studying at, and living in residence, at The University of Guelph in Ontario. Talking with Andrew really got me thinking about my university days and the role on-campus residence played in my life. As residence is often a persons’ first home on their own it can provide a formative experience.
In addition to accommodating the growing population at UBC and helping to alleviate pressure on the rental market, student housing provides a warm and welcoming space for young people as they move into their first home, often far away from their families.
It was great catching up with Andrew and learning about UBC’s proactive approach to housing affordability in Vancouver. Certainly there’s a lot The City of Vancouver could learn from these strategies.
I hope you enjoy the interview.
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