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. In 2022, HAP is undergoing a 10-year review that will serve as critical input into the Campus Vision 2050 and the updated Land Use Plan.
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 home ownership opportunities for faculty, including loan programs and advanced purchase opportunities for market units on campus.
Faculty/Staff Rental Program
The Faculty/Staff Rental Program, one component of the HAP, offers rental housing on UBC Vancouver campus at below market rents for full-time faculty and staff. All units are fairly new, and have the advantage of being within an easy, scenic walk from the main campus. As of September 2022, there are 950 rental housing units in 16 buildings on campus, ranging in size from studios to four-bedroom units, including a good selection of pet-friendly suites. More units are continually being developed, including an additional 450 units (approx.) by 2025. 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 (RGI) housing programs (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. The pilot programs were launched in spring 2018 and are in their final year of the pilot phase. A Staff Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) program provides up to 100 staff members with accommodation in Village Gate Homes apartment units, paying rent capped at 30% of their pre-tax household income, subject to meeting employment, income, and assets requirements
- A Faculty Temporary Rental Housing Support Program (TRHS) to accommodate a total of 10 participants over two years paying rent capped at 30% of their pre-tax household income, subject to meeting eligibility requirements
Faculty Home Ownership Program (FHOP)
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.
- The Prescribed Interest Rate Loan (PIRL) provides approved faculty members a one-time loan to assist with the purchase of a principal residence anywhere in Metro Vancouver. It is a 15-year low-interest and interest-payment-only repayable loan. Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $500,000, although loans in the upper limit are rare.
- The FHOP also offers forgivable Down Payment Assistance loans of $50,000 to new tenure-stream faculty recruits.
In 2022, the Housing Action Plan Steering Committee is undertaking the 10-year HAP review process, which includes the five-year review of the Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) programs. At the 10-year mark, there is an opportunity as well as growing community expectation for a broad update with a refreshed strategic approach to support affordability, as well as other university priorities.
To best meet UBC’s strategic interests and long-term strategic goals, the HAP 10-year-review will be closely aligned with the Campus Vision 2050 (CV2050) process. The HAP review will be presented to the Board of Governors in spring 2023, the timing of which is key as an input into the updated CV205 Land Use Plan.
Learn more about CV2050 at https://campusvision2050.ubc.ca/.
The Board of Governors approved minor updates to the Five-Year Review of the Housing Action Plan (HAP) in February 2018. Policy text was updated to reflect more accurate and updated program cross references, eligibility benchmark cross-references, and, in some cases, to eliminate redundancy.
The Board of Governors also approved additional funding for the Prescribed Interest Rate Loan (PIRL) program - a loan program that provides selected faculty members with a 15-year low-interest rate loan to support a home purchase anywhere in the Lower Mainland.
In December 2017, the Board of Governors received the Phase II Review of the Housing Action Plan (HAP), which focused on student and staff support policies.
In June 2017, the Board of Governors approved a framework for a pilot Rent Geared to Income program for launch in spring 2018. The pilot project offers rental units on campus to lower income employee households on a rent-geared to 30% of pre-tax household income, 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 income thresholds of $99,500 or less depending on household size, and who need temporary transitional support for up to two 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 $66,500 or less depending on household size. The staff program spaces are limited to 10 years occupancy.
In December 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.