Brandon University will be setting up a project team to revise its plans for non-profit mature student housing.
President Deborah Poff met with representatives with Manitoba Housing yesterday, and following the meeting said it appears the project will be moving forward.
"I’m optimistic we will be getting funding," she said. "We’re in the very early stages of project development … We’ll be starting to work with architects and we’ll be revising our drawings and that sort of thing."
While Poff couldn’t provide many details about the meeting, she did say she was happy with the outcome.
Another meeting will be set up before Sept. 15.
The university’s original proposal to the province called for an $11-million development of 42 condos and apartments to be built on the former Fleming School property. The majority of the units would be three bedrooms suitable for families. A daycare facility and other multi-use space were also in the proposal.
According to Poff, the university’s response from the province was that the government was committed to the project, but it was too expensive as originally proposed. That’s why the BU team will be revising its plans.
Given Brandon’s extremely low vacancy rate, Poff said this is a critical issue.
"Although this is an issue for every university, I think it’s more an issue for BU because people just can’t find (housing)," Poff said in a previous interview with the Sun.
"I’ve had students tell me they’re not going to move to Brandon if they can’t find a decent place for their kids to live. They want them living in a safe place and a quality place."
It’s a project she would like to see addressed in her last year as university president.
"It’s something I care about very much," she said.
The housing would be exclusively for registered BU students, who would have to move out once their program studies are complete.
A Manitoba Housing spokesperson said the department had a "very positive meeting regarding the university’s plans for the development of affordable family housing."
As it is at the very early stages, no decisions on design or funding have been made.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 21, 2013