British Columbia’s historic project brings student housing to Douglas College

BC Housing Project. Image credit Unsplash by Asif Ali

Vancouver: One of British Columbia (BC)’s reportedly largest capital investments in student housing would see Douglas College students’ access to affordable on-campus housing for the first time as construction starts.

Having been a Douglas College attendee myself, I can’t help but feel overjoyed for this new chapter.
With 368 student beds and 11 stories of academic space, this building is set to redefine community life for both the college and New Westminster.— Jennifer Whiteside (@JM_Whiteside) March 1, 2024

“One of the biggest challenges facing students today is finding a safe, secure and affordable place to live close to campus…including the very first student residence at Douglas College…the largest-ever provincial capital investment that includes student housing…reduce pressure on the local rental market,” BC Premier David Eby has said.

With 368 student beds in one-, two- and four-bed units in a 20-storey integrated building also includes new classrooms, student collaboration spaces, labs, offices, food services and parking.

“This development isn’t just beneficial for Douglas College but for the entire New West community, as it enhances student living and adds much-needed affordable housing,” Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster reported.

 This building project will meet Step 4 of the B.C. Energy Code Step Code, the highest step in the code for commercial buildings, and will use wood throughout for design elements. 

“Douglas College’s first student-housing beds and new academic space will allow more students to live on campus and focus on their studies…another step towards building 12,000 student beds across the province through our Homes for People action plan.” Lisa Beare, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills has said.

While $202.3 million would be provided to the school by the provincial government, Douglas College would provide the remaining $90.2 million. 

“The construction of 808 Royal upholds our vision…enriching the Douglas College student experience for years to come…give hundreds of students a place to call home on campus…to adapt, innovate and lead in this changing world,” Kathy Denton, president, Douglas College has said

The project of student housing is expected to be complete by summer 2027 with students moving in for the fall semester. 

Part of the Homes for People action plan, this project commits more than $2 billion toward developing 12,000 student beds on campuses throughout the province and would further ease pressure on the local rental markets. To date, 7,766 student beds are complete or underway.