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A new year-round residence at UPEI and additional affordable housing units around the province were two of the measures the provincial government announced Thursday to address P.E.I.’s housing crunch.
During a news conference, Finance Minister Heath MacDonald announced 175 housing units and the 260-bed residence at UPEI.
MacDonald said there’s always more work to be done.
“We understand that, but I think we’re heading in the right direction” he said.
With the new UPEI residence, MacDonald said students will be able to live there year-round, unlike the current setup that forces them to leave after the school year ends.
That residence will cost about $25-$30 million with the university covering some of the costs.
MacDonald said students who live in the residence will pay a different rate than those in the university’s other residences.
“It will be a reasonable rate,” he said.
An attempt was made to speak to someone at UPEI about the residence, but a spokeswoman said the university couldn’t provide more details because the agreement with the province still needed to be finalized.
In a message UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz issued to the campus community Thursday about the government’s housing announcement, he said growth in enrolment by international students and those from other parts of Canada has led to increased demand for housing.
The announcement of a new residence was the culmination of a collaboration between UPEI and the provincial government, Abd-El-Aziz said.
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