Burnaby's BCIT to get first new student housing in 38 years

BCIT’s Burnaby campus is getting its first new student housing 38 years.

Today (Thursday), Melanie Mark, minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, announced construction of a 464-bed, 12-storey student housing project at BCIT's Burnaby campus.

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The project is valued at nearly $115 million. The province is covering $108.8 million and BCIT is contributing $6 million towards this project. The plan includes a BC Student Housing Loan Program for public post-secondary institutions that provides access to funds to help finance student housing projects over six years.

"Students throughout the province have told our government the lack of affordable housing has stood in the way of their education and aspirations, and we committed to fixing this problem," said Mark, in a news release. "Building these new homes is answering a call to action from students and communities to support innovation and create more affordable, cleaner and greener housing."

The project, Mark said, will be designed to reflect Indigenous culture in the region, and to support Indigenous learners by providing community spaces on the ground floor. The new building will be constructed using mass timber, a sustainable product that is “cost effective, quicker to build and has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete construction.”

"Mass timber is key to diversifying and creating a more resilient forest sector as we work to transition to high-value over high-volume production," said Ravi Kahlon, parliamentary secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, in a statement. "It's great to see the ripple effects from the expanded use of sustainably harvested, low-carbon wood products in B.C. buildings. It helps combat climate change and brings people back to work in forestry-related jobs, while this project creates housing for hundreds of future BCIT students."

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