UBC Housing recently announced a 20 per cent increase in student housing costs starting next year. UBC says their rates will still be below market value in Vancouver. The university backs this statement up with a 2014 survey from a consulting firm. We conducted our own survey of student renters to see how the numbers compared.
UBC’s survey had 6,628 student responses, including 3,831 students living off campus, and 1,431 living at home. The Ubyssey’s survey had a total of 2,243 responses, but the data below is based on the 1,992 responses we received from student renters. Here’s what we found:
Where do students live?
This interactive heat map shows where students live, how much they pay in rent, their commute times and number of roommates. Click the coloured boxes to display the different data. Hover over the map for more information. For the commute time option, drag the slider to show data by time spent on the bus.
In a presentation from UBC housing justifying the fee increases, they presented a map with the average market rates students pay for housing based on their commute time to campus. The slide from UBC’s presentation took the market rates from UBC’s survey and added $60 to each average rental rate to account for the cost of cable, internet and utilities.
Off-campus neighbourhood breakdown
This graphic shows how rental prices vary by location. The "Ubyssey vs UBC" option shows how our data compares to UBC's official report on housing. Click the other boxes for more detailed information from our survey, including the average rent by neighbourhood, and average number of roommates students live with by location.
In UBC’s presentation of the housing fee increases, they cited McGill and the University of Toronto’s higher housing costs as evidence their housing rates are relatively cheap. Below is a table that gives a little more context. Before the 20 per cent increase, UBC is the 14th most expensive of the major schools across Canada. After the fee increase, UBC jumps to the seventh most expensive.
Where do we stand?
This chart shows how UBC's housing costs compare to other major universities across Canada – both before and after the 20 per cent rent increase. Click the boxes under the graph to show how the costs of different types of housing stack up. When universities did not have comparable types of housing, no data is displayed.