As the City Council president, Mike Ross, ramps up pressure on universities to house more students on campus, the dormitory construction freeze seems to be thawing.

“This is good progress but more needs to be done,” Ross said of several projects in the pipeline.
Ross held a hearing yesterday to examine the off-campus student rental market’s role in making Boston one of the most expensive cities to live.

“I believe we can be the best college town in America, maybe in the world — and at the same time be the greatest city for people to stay in,” Ross said.

Since recession’s start, Northeastern University shelved a 600-unit dorm, and a private developer’s plans to build a dorm for students from multiple universities on St. Botolph Street was shot down. Now a similar plan to build a private dorm for just NU students at the same location is on track.

“There are little telltale signs things are starting to pick up,” said John Tobin, NU’s vice president of City and Community Affairs.