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101-bed student housing project coming to Okanagan College Penticton

The project is expected to be open by 2026

Student housing will be coming to Penticton's Okanagan College Campus and will be move-in ready for 2026. 

The college and provincial government made the announcement on July 10, of the upcoming $24 million project which will provide opportunities for students across the South Okanagan and beyond.

"When you consider that there are over 20 communities that are serviced within our region, just to be able to put that that final fourth student housing complex into our system down in, in from here really opens up the entire Southern Interior for us," said Neil Fassina, OC's president. "So all of those students in Osoyoos, in in the boundary region, in Princeton who are like,  'Yes, I just, I want to come, I just can't make that drive every single day, I can't I find a spot to live in Penticton.'

"Now, we've got the opportunity to be able to bring those people here."

The province is set to provide $23.5 million of the funding for the housing, as part of its larger $2 billion commitment towards $12,000 beds across B.C. The remaining $500,000 will be provided by Okanagan College. 

Representatives from the college, provincial government, federal government and local governments were all present at the announcement. For some, the project has been a work years in the making and long past due. 

"This is a stack of stories and testimonials from students in Penticton and our region," said Tina Lee, OC board member and chair of the planning committee, as she showed a sheaf of papers to the audience. "In these pages, there are stories of students who really struggled with housing. There's a story of someone sleeping in their car, there's a story of students skipping meals.

"There are stories of students choosing to go to other communities because they can't find affordable housing here in Penticton and worse yet, there are stories of students that abandon their studies because it's sometimes too difficult to afford studying and living."

The new student housing will provide 101 beds in 89 units of housing on the campus itself. At the announcement, MLA Roly Russell stated that they hoped to have it finished in just over a year, however, a press release from the government states that the goal is to have it ready for students in the fall of 2026. 

"It is a much needed in addition to the college, " said Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel. "For the students that we are trying to guide and, and shape for our future community needs, housing has always been a stressful part of their new journey in their lives. I think with this addition to this particular college, it eliminates a lot of the stress when they're already faced with getting through the courses and getting their grades in order."

Russell, who spoke on behalf of Minister of Post-Secondary Education Lisa Beare, added that building student housing on campus will also help reduce the pressure on housing across the rest of the community. 

The Penticton campus joins OC's Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Vernon campuses with housing projects. Those projects, 216 beds, 60 beds and 100 beds respectively, are scheduled to open in the fall of 2024. 


Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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