Frequently Asked Questions

Staff Rent-Geared-to-Income Program

Who is eligible and what constitutes a full-time position?
  • Eligibility for the Staff RGI program is limited to full time UBC staff (as defined in current collective agreements between UBC and its employee groups) who:
    • Have a gross household income no more than $68,000 (2018) per annum;
    • Have no more than $100,000 in assets;
    • Hold a full time, ongoing position and have worked at UBC for at least 1 year or are term employees who have accumulated three or more years of continuous service (no break in service).
Am I eligible if I own a portion of a home?
  • Staff with assets, including equity in real estate (net of debt), exceeding $100,000 are not eligible for the RGI program.
Are the people selected in the lottery given an estimated move-in month for 2018? Or could spots come available anytime within the next 3 years?
  • Selected participants will be offered RGI units gradually through 2018 and over the next 3 years within the VGH portfolio as unit turnover permits.
Why is the income threshold so low?
  • The RGI program is intended primarily to help address the challenges of lower income staff groups in accessing housing on campus. Income thresholds are based on Housing Income Limits (HILs), prepared annually by BC Housing, and which represent the income required to pay the average market rent for an appropriately sized unit in the private market.  Average rents are derived from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) annual Rental Market Survey completed in the fall of each year and released in the following spring.
Our income falls under the threshold for a 3 bedroom apartment. Can we move-in to a 3 bedroom unit if it is just me and my partner?
  • A primary objective of the RGI program is to help lower income staff who are in need of affordable housing and that suits the size of their household. RGI units will be allocated in accordance with Canada’s National Occupancy Standards (NOS) which establish whether a dwelling has enough bedrooms for the size and composition of a household.  Every effort will be made to accommodate households per the unit allocation as outlined in the table below subject to inventory availability.
Household Composition Examples Unit Type
Single Adult Studio or 1 Bedroom
Adult Couple 1 Bedroom
2 Single Adults (non-cohabitating) 2 Bedroom
Single or Adult Couple with 1 child
(full or shared custody)
2 Bedroom
Single or Adult couple with child(ren) over 18
(full or shared custody)
1 bedroom + 1 bedroom for every child over 18
Single or Adult couple with 2 opposite sex children under 5 (full or shared custody) 1 bedroom + 1 bedroom to be shared by the  children
Single or Adult couple with 2 same sex children 18 years or younger (full or shared custody) 1 bedroom + 1 bedroom to be shared by the  children
Single or Adult couple with 2 opposite sex children over 5 and under 18 (full or shared custody) 1 bedroom + 1 bedroom for each opposite sex child over the age of 5
Single or Adult couple with 2 same sex children under 18 and 1 opposite sex child (full or shared custody) 1 bedroom + 1 bedroom to be shared by the same sex children + 1 bedroom for the opposite sex child

Can I turn down a unit that is offered to me?
  • Applicants in the RGI program may decline only once a unit offered by VGH, to be deferred to a later month. If the applicant declines a second offered unit of appropriate size for their family composition, the space in the pilot RGI program will be allocated to another employee.
Can I get a unit in a new building?
  • The RGI program is not tied to specific apartment units on campus. RGI units will be located throughout the existing VGH portfolio, subject to unit turnover and program demand.
Do we have to move-out after 10 years?
  • The maximum length of stay in a staff RGI unit is 10 years at which time the tenant, assuming that they continue to be employed by UBC, will have the option of renting the unit that they are in at the VGH Faculty and Staff rental rate for a comparable unit in the VGH portfolio or vacate the unit. If the tenant chooses to vacate the unit, the tenant notification period of 1 month applies.
If I get a new position at UBC and my income rises above the cut-off limits, would my rent increase to market price? Or would I have to move out?
  • UBC will review and verify tenant incomes and assets in October of each year. Should an RGI tenant’s gross household income be determined to have increased so that they no longer meet the $68,000 (2018) income benchmark threshold , they will be provided with written notification from UBC indicating that they will have 3 months to rent at the existing RGI rate after which time the unit will be removed from the RGI portfolio and they have the option of renting the unit they are in at Village Gate Homes (VGH) Faculty and Staff rate for a comparable unit or vacating the unit. If the tenant chooses to vacate the unit, the tenant notification period of 1 month applies plus liquidated damages if within the 1st year of tenancy.
If I get a new position outside of UBC, how long am I given to move out?
  • RGI tenants who terminate their employment with UBC will no longer be eligible to occupy a VGH rental unit and will be required to give written notice to end their tenancy as per VGH Residential Tenancy Agreement. They will also be required to pay any liquidated damages that may be owing to VGH if the tenancy is terminated before the end of a fixed tenancy term. You are given 60 days to vacate the unit.
Is the RGI program a taxable benefit? How does the taxable benefit work? Are units under RGI program really cheaper considering the taxable benefit?
  • The RGI program provides UBC staff with an economic benefit from their employer as Village Gate Homes (VGH) is a subsidiary of UBC Properties Trust (UBCPT) which is owned by UBC. Income tax law stipulates that if any assistance is provided to an individual in connection with their office or employment for the use of a residence, then a taxable employment benefit has been received. The taxable benefit that an RGI tenant receives will be calculated by UBC who will withhold income tax from an employee’s payroll and remit said tax to Canada Revenue Agency for each applicable pay period. Generally speaking the taxable benefit will be the difference between the RGI rent and the market rental for a comparable unit as determined by UBC’s Treasury Department and the associated payment will be automatically deducted from each pay cheque.

Faculty Temporary Rental Housing Support Program

Why an RGI program for faculty?
  • The Faculty RGI program aims to accommodate, over 2 years, a total of 10 participants paying rent capped at 30% of their pre-tax household income. The program is intended to ensure that Vancouver rental housing costs do not become a barrier to the strategic recruitment of promising talent in those faculties where salaries are typically lower. The program will be particularly helpful for those who may rely on a single source of income due to relocation, and experience challenges in balancing the repayment of student loans and childcare costs for young children.
Who is eligible?
  • Eligibility for the program is limited to UBC faculty who:
    • are full time, tenure stream faculty;
    • have an annual gross household income no more than $80,500 (2017) to access a 2 bedroom unit and no more than $99,500 (2017) to access a 3 bedroom unit;
    • have no more than$100,000 in assets minus the value of outstanding student loan(s).
How will tenants be selected?
  • Access to this program is merit-based. All eligible faculty members will be adjudicated and approved by the Provost’s or Dean’s Allocation Committee based on merits annually. The tenant selection process will be administered by UBC Housing and Relocation Services (HRS) office. If approved by the Provost, the faculty member will be required to submit to income and asset verification by an independent, third party service provider.
  • Once approved for access to the RGI program, a unit will be offered to the faculty member by VGH, based on availability and turnover over the course of the year. (and in collaboration with UBC HRS) Given the limited number of units available, if necessary a waitlist will be created and administered by HRS. The HRS office will advise Village Gate Homes (VGH) as to who is to occupy a Faculty RGI unit.
When will RGI units be available?
  • Approval of an RGI unit does not mean that there will be immediate unit assignment. Units will be assigned as they become available to approved faculty members. UBC will use its best efforts, but not guarantee, that a unit will become available on the faculty member’s preferred occupancy date.
How long can a faculty member stay in a RGI unit?
  • The maximum period of support will be 2 years unless an exception was granted by the Provost office, on the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty. The program is intended to help faculty members with their transition in life by providing a temporary rental housing support, rather a long term permanent housing solution based on the following:
    • The faculty member’s salary generally increases over time;
    • As the children grow past the age 5, childcare costs are significantly reduced;
    • The faculty member’s spouse likely can find an employment within 1- 2 years after relocating.
Can a faculty member turn down a unit that is offered to them?
  • A faculty member may decline only once an appropriately sized unit offered for occupancy after the faculty member’s arrival to UBC. If the faculty member does not accept the second appropriately sized unit that is offered, for a later month, the program space will be allocated to another. Declining the offered RGI unit will not compromise a faculty member’s position on the regular faculty staff rental waitlist.
If a faculty member’s income rises above the threshold limits, what happens?
  • UBC will review and verify program participant’s income and assets in October of each year. Should a faculty tenant’s gross household income be determined to have increased so that they no longer meet the benchmark thresholds, they will be provided written notification from the HRS office indicating they will have 3 months to rent at the existing FTHS rate after which time the unit will be removed from the FTHS portfolio and they have the option of renting the unit they are in at VGH’s Faculty and Staff rate for a comparable unit or vacating the unit. If the tenant chooses to vacate the unit the tenant notification period of 1 month applies plus liquidated damages if within the 1st year of tenancy.