CANADA: Companies to help solve student housing woes

Canadian universities are turning to the private sector to solve their campus housing problems, writes Steve Ladurantaye for The Globe and Mail. They are looking at adopting an American trend that has seen dozens of schools partner with private equity firms to construct buildings that fill the need for student living and also provide investors with the types of returns generally associated with apartment complexes.

The University of Toronto has quietly set a plan in motion that would see a new 30- to 40-storey residence built next to its downtown campus and funded by a private equity firm, which would make it the first university in Canada to erect a large tower offsite with private money. Knightstone Capital Management Inc has agreed to finance and build the residence, at an estimated cost of $120-million.

Universities have expanded dramatically in the last decade, but haven't been able to keep pace with residence space because funding is usually directed toward new laboratories, classrooms and research. Typically, new residences have been paid for by additional student fees.
Full report on the Globe and Mail site