Media Release | Sep. 26, 2012

UBC housing plan to increase affordability and choice for faculty, staff and students

The University of British Columbia’s board of governors has approved a comprehensive housing program designed to help more UBC faculty, staff and students live on its Vancouver campus. As a result, UBC will expand housing for its academic community and workforce on campus, becoming the only Lower Mainland employer to offer significant levels of restricted housing to employees, and one of the world’s first universities to offer non-profit housing to low-income staff.

“While other universities have housing programs for faculty, this is a comprehensive plan that targets faculty, staff and students,” says UBC President Stephen Toope. “The sound management of the land endowed to UBC 100 years ago is allowing us to put in place housing options that will help UBC attract and retain the world’s best, and dramatically increase the sustainability of our campus.”

To benefit current and future generations of employees, up to 30 per cent of UBC’s future housing will be made available only to faculty and staff under restricted housing programs. Up to 20 per cent of future units will be available to staff or faculty as restricted rentals. To allow UBC to continue to recruit top faculty in a competitive world-wide market, up to 10 per cent of future units will be restricted home ownership for faculty. UBC will also introduce a pilot non-profit housing program intended for full-time staff with household incomes of less than $64,000 per year.

The plan, The University Community on Campus – the UBC Housing Action Plan, also commits to keep student housing rates at or below market rates. UBC will advocate for an increase to the student loan programs’ shelter allowance and will increase housing options for undergraduate and graduate students.

The plan results from extensive consultation, financial analysis of housing options and review of best practices by other jurisdictions and peer universities in Canada and the U.S. The new housing programs will be based on demand, and reviewed regularly to ensure they meet the needs of the community. UBC is currently developing a plan to implement the new programs.

Backgrounder: The University Community on Campus

  • A total of up to 30 per cent of UBC’s future housing stock will be available only to faculty and staff
  • Up to 20 per cent of future units will be restricted rentals, available to faculty and staff at rental rates approximately 25 per cent below the average rental rates on Vancouver’s west side
  • Up to 10 per cent of future units will be built as restricted home ownership for tenure and tenure-track faculty, with an anticipated purchase price 33 per cent below benchmark housing prices, and resale prices indexed to faculty salaries to a maximum  33 per cent below benchmark housing prices
  • A pilot project with up to 100 units of non-profit housing program will  be available to eligible full-time staff with household incomes of less than $64,000 per year
  • UBC’s Vancouver campus has more student housing (9,000 beds) than any other Canadian university campus. UBC commits to keep these – and 2,125 new spaces being added by 2016 – at or below market rates
  • UBC will advocate for an increase to student loan programs’ shelter allowance and will increase housing options for graduate students
  • Of the nearly 3,200 existing family housing units in UBC neighbourhoods, 52 per cent house at least one person who works or studies on campus

Watch five short videos about the plan below. Learn more at www.bog.ubc.ca. Multimedia, including B-Roll, available to media upon request.

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Basil Waugh
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.2048
Email: basil.waugh@ubc.ca

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Housing on UBC's Vancouver campus.

Housing on UBC's Vancouver campus.

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