BRANDON, Man. – Brandon University (BU) students with families will have an affordable place to call home thanks to a $12-million commitment from the Province of Manitoba.
Municipal Government Minister Drew Caldwell visited the BU campus to deliver the good news on Friday, as the province partnered with the university on a $13.5-million project that will result in the construction of 42 student family housing units.
“Accessible and affordable housing for students with families is an important factor influencing the decision to attend Brandon University for many people,” said BU President Gervan Fearon.
“The new residences will support the educational goals of students and their families, help to address the housing shortage in Brandon, and represent another example of how the partnership being forged with Brandon University benefits the growth and vitality of the community at large.”
Construction is expected to begin this summer on the project, which will feature a three-storey apartment building, with 16 three-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units. In addition, 18 three-bedroom townhouse units will be built. Aimed at low- to medium-income students, rent will be based on affordable rates for the area, with rent on half of the units being geared towards the families’ income.
“Brandon University has a reputation for offering students a first-class education where students can get individual attention from instructors,” Caldwell said. “This new housing complex will help ensure greater access to the career path of their choice by making it easier for out-of-town students to live and study in Brandon.”
Brandon University will donate land, valued at $850,000. Located on the former Fleming School grounds, the development will give residents good access to the nearby university campus and neighbourhood amenities.
“Increased affordable housing space designated for student will alleviate the local housing shortage, while allowing low-income students to live close to campus,” said Nick Brown, Interim President of the Brandon University Students’ Union.
“With the residence complex being full this year, there is no better time to increase residence options. The new student family housing project will allow us to provide unique services to our mature and family students. This opportunity increases the ability of BUSU to provide that community and home feeling that students desire on campus.”
Fearon said the project is the culmination of years of dedication, crediting former BU President Deborah Poff for initiating the development. He also lauded BU Vice-President of Administration and Finance Scott Lamont, partners including Kirk Brugger, and the efforts of others in the city and province for bringing it to life.
“The opportunity for students with families to attend Brandon University will be inspirational to their family members and communities,” Fearon said. “The investment being made by government today will pay off for generations to come.”