Background of the organization:
UTILE (Unité de travail pour l’implantation de logement étudiant) was founded in 2013 to advance a new model for the development of student housing in Quebec. It serves as a technical advisor and project manager to student associations as they develop new housing assets.
Student housing has traditionally been viewed as the responsibility of educational institutions. Yet in Quebec, universities and colleges provide only 8.5% of student housing places, leaving 200,000 students looking for accommodation in the private market. The resulting upward pressure on rental rates can prevent lower income students from accessing higher education; displace lower income local residents; and exacerbate shortages in the affordable housing market.
UTILE is a Montreal-based organization that supports the development of affordable, student-led, socially financed, non-profit student housing. This unique organization provides financial and technical expertise to student associations, which often have significant resources, on developing affordable student housing projects.
A grant from the Foundation will allow UTILE to scale its approach to meet rising demand. Additional flexibility over the next two years will give UTILE the ability to double the number of new projects in Quebec and begin work in the rest of Canada through market research, new project development and policy change.
- Social Innovation Fund