385 student dorm rooms open at UVic amid housing crisis

385 student dorm rooms open at UVic amid housing crisis
Sŋéqə ʔéʔləŋ (Sngequ House) opened in September 2023.

The second housing project is now open on the University of Victoria (UVic) campus meaning another 385 students will be able to live on campus.

The new dorm project was completed in time for the fall 2023 semester, and representatives from the B.C. government were on site on Nov. 29 to celebrate the opening.

“When young people move away from home for school, they need to be able to find safe, secure and affordable housing,” said Premier David Eby. “But spots in residence can fill up quickly, forcing some students to search for somewhere to live off campus during a housing crisis. That’s why our government is building new student housing throughout the province, including at UVic.”

The first housing project opened in time for the fall 2022 semester.

READ PREVIOUS: Almost 400 new student housing beds opens at UVic in time for school

The previous project had 398 dorm rooms. The completion of the project means two old dorm buildings will be torn down. The two new buildings have an increase of 621 dorm rooms from the previous buildings.

The province says the project will primarily house first-year students.

Additionally, the project has an Indigenous student lounge.

“We’re helping students in British Columbia and reducing rental housing pressures by building thousands of new student beds throughout British Columbia,” said Selina Robinson, minister of post-secondary education and future skills.

“This government is acting to build more homes for students. Our commitment is strengthened by our increased investment of $575 million over three years and $1.1 billion over 10 years.”

The total cost of the project was $235.9 million, of which the province contributed $127.7 million.

The Songhees Nation gave permission to use lək̓ʷəŋən names for the two new buildings. The one opened in September 2023 is called Sŋéqə ʔéʔləŋ (Sngequ House) and the other is called Čeqʷəŋín ʔéʔləŋ (Cheko’nien House).

Despite the opening of these two new buildings, in October 2023, CHEK News spoke with UVic students who were unable to find housing so had to live in their car on campus.

READ PREVIOUS: UVic student living in van calls on school to allow overnight camping

In Victoria, rent prices continue to remain high, with two reports placing Victoria in the top 20 most expensive rental markets in the country.

READ PREVIOUS: Victoria rent prices down slightly, national average ticks up

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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