In 2012, UBC’s Board of Governors adopted the Housing Action Plan (HAP) to help improve affordability and choice for faculty, staff and students based on our Vancouver campus.
Policies within the plan that support faculty recruiting include:
- a commitment to continue building a greater number and variety of rental housing units on campus for faculty members and staff
- finding ways to support homeownership opportunities for faculty.
The Faculty/Staff Rental Program, one component of the HAP, offers more than 500 rental housing units on-campus for full-time faculty and staff at reduced rents (25% below market rate). All units are fairly new, and have the advantage of being within an easy, scenic walk from the main campus. More units are continually being developed, including an additional 720 units (approx.) by 2021. Visit the Housing & Relocation Services website for more information on access for new faculty recruits.
The implementation framework for two pilot Rent Geared to Income Rental (RGI) housing program variations (one for staff and one for faculty) were approved by the Board of Governors on June 14, 2017 as follow-through on earlier commitments of the UBC Housing Action Plan for the Vancouver campus:
- A Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) program would provide up to 100 staff members with accommodation in Village Gate Homes apartment units, paying rent capped at 30% of their pre-tax household income.
- A Faculty Temporary Rental Housing Support Program (TRHS) would aim to accommodate 5 participants in Village Gate Homes rental apartment units in 2018 and 5 more in 2019, subject to demand, to a total of 10 participants over two years paying rent capped at 30% of their pre-tax household income.
The target launch date for these pilot programs will be Spring 2018 when the next Faculty Staff rental buildings are brought on-stream.
The Faculty Home Ownership Program (FHOP), another component of the HAP, was introduced in 2014 to make home ownership on the Vancouver campus more affordable for faculty whose recruitment and retention is determined to be of critical strategic importance to UBC.
On June 14th 2017, the Board of Governors approved a framework for a pilot Rent-Geared to Income program for launch next spring. The pilot project will offer rental units on-campus to lower income employee households on a rent-geared to -30% household income basis, rather than the current discounted rate of approximately 25% below market. Ten spaces will be reserved for strategically selected and relocating faculty members with children, with household incomes $99,500 or less, and who need temporary transitional support for up to 2 years. The other 100 spaces are for staff, with or without children, who may or may not be relocating from outside the Lower Mainland, and who have household incomes of $64,500 or less. The staff program spaces are limited to 10 years occupancy. The project begins in Spring of 2018.
On December 6th 2016, the Board of Governors considered a series of proposed implementation updates to the UBC rental program and the FHOP, collectively known as the 10-year Faculty Housing Strategy.The following key changes were approved:
- Expanding supply and accelerating the pace of delivery of new rental units, including an additional 750 units (approx.) by 2021;
- Expanding the format and size range of rental inventory, and reviewing design;
- Working with UBC Properties Trust to convert approximately 42 market townhomes (14 by end 2017) on-campus for faculty rental in the next two years;
- Adopting a more strategic approach to managing the rental waitlist;
- Maintaining the Down Payment Assistance Program for existing eligible faculty and increasing the program from $45k to $50k for eligible faculty hired after June 30, 2017;
- Creating a $10 million fund for housing loans to faculty members;
- Establishing a loan program that will provide selected faculty members with a 15-year low-interest rate PIRL loan (Prescribed Interest Rate Loan) to support a home purchase anywhere in the Lower Mainland.