It’s the middle of term and a first-year student has decided that her off-campus housing situation isn’t exactly fitting her needs and she wants to try something new. She’d like to find a small, affordable, one-bedroom suite that’s close to campus. So, where’s a girl to look?
It turns out UBC Okanagan now has an answer for that.
UBCO has teamed up with the off-campus housing tool Places4students.com. The online tool provides listings of off-campus rentals, shared houses, apartments, sublets and can even connect students looking for roommates.
“Off-campus housing has been a particular challenge for students this fall,” says Dale Mullings, associate vice-president of students. “UBCO is committed to helping all students requiring assistance finding off-campus housing, connecting to potential roommates or needing help to understand the residential tenancy agreement in BC.”
Places4Students.com simplifies the house-hunting process. Students can search for off-campus housing in the community with a fully accessible website. Landlords and property managers can advertise—at no charge—their rental vacancies directly to students on the platform. The website also features rental housing related information, tips and resources for both students and landlords.
“The housing crush is an issue across Canada, and not just in university towns,” says Mullings. “While on-campus housing is certainly part of the solution—UBCO already offers guaranteed spaces for all first-year and Indigenous students across all of its 10 residences and 2,120 beds—many students look forward to finding accommodation off-campus and in the community.”
He adds the campus already has a number of services to help students secure housing, such as the off-campus ambassador program, and off-campus housing bursary. This new online listing service adds yet another resource to help in the search.
UBCO created an off-campus housing ambassador to help students with their house search. The ambassador dealt with more than 400 inquiries from students during the summer and hosted several online events to help students find roommates and navigate Kelowna’s rental housing market.
Places4Students.com works in conjunction with academic institutions and student organizations to provide off-campus housing solutions for students. More than 190 college and university campuses throughout North America have partnered with the company since 2003.
“UBCO has always been committed to helping students find accommodation,” says Mullings. “In fact, in 2019 the campus announced more than $70 million in funding to build our two newest residences, the Skeena and Nechako Residences which opened this summer. Those two buildings alone provide an additional 440 beds on campus.”
Landlords wishing to list rental properties free of charge can create a profile and listing on places4students.com/landlord