Revington, N. et Wray, A. (2022). Land-use planning approaches to near-campus neighborhoods and student housing development patterns in Ontario, Canada. Housing Policy Debate.
Student housing represents a contentious local policy issue in university cities in North America and beyond, related to both the conversion of existing housing to student rentals and the development of private purpose-built student accommodations. Yet little research has considered the variety of approaches municipalities across an urban system have adopted to address student housing issues through land-use planning and their subsequent influence on development patterns. Through an analysis of planning documents in all 15 Ontario urban areas with a primary campus of the province’s 20 public universities, we identify four broad approaches. These range from minimal intervention to covertly restricting student housing development, directing student housing away from established neighborhoods, and enabling high-density redevelopment of a residential district to accommodate students. Municipalities’ approaches reflect local context, notably their relationship to the province’s regional growth management plans. Case studies demonstrate how each approach has shaped purpose-built student accommodation development locally.