10-Year Faculty Housing Strategy

To: Faculty in Vancouver

The increasingly high-priced Vancouver housing market presents one of the most significant challenges facing the university as we strive to recruit and retain the very best faculty. Over the last year, the university has been working on re-energizing the existing Faculty Home Ownership Program (FHOP) and related housing supports to expand the housing options for our faculty.

Today, the Board of Governors considered a series of proposed updates to the FHOP and the UBC rental program, collectively known as the 10-Year Faculty Housing Strategy. I am pleased to announce that the Board approved the following changes:

  • Expanding supply and accelerating the pace of delivery of new rental units, including an additional 750 units (approx.) over the next five years;
  • Expanding the format and size range of rental inventory, and reviewing design;
  • Working with UBC Properties Trust to convert 42 market townhomes (approx.) 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.

More information can be found online at http://www.hr.ubc.ca/housing-relocation/10-year-faculty-housing-strategy/.

Some faculty have enquired about the possibility of introducing a housing ownership model whereby faculty are able to buy housing on campus at the cost of construction, with resale restricted to faculty. We continue to examine variations of this model and to seek an approach that enables some housing equity for faculty members while ensuring program sustainability and tax efficiency. We will bring an update on this analysis to the Board in the new year.

I believe the changes introduced today as part of the 10-Year Faculty Housing Strategy are a reflection of the Board’s commitment to supporting the recruitment and retention of world-class faculty. They are tangible improvements that will begin making a difference immediately.

Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor