Loans from $50,000 to $500,000 for UBC Vancouver faculty members to help in the purchase of a primary residence in Metro Vancouver.
The Prescribed Interest Rate Loan (PIRL) program is a merit-based program that offers low-interest and interest-payment-only loans to full-time tenure-stream faculty members for the purchase or refinance of a primary residence in Metro Vancouver. Loan amounts range from $50,000 and up to $500,0000 in rare and exceptional cases. Applicants are assessed on merit with priority given to tenured faculty and those of highest strategic consideration for recruitment and retention through an adjudication process overseen by the Provost Office.
Faculty must be:
- Full-time tenured faculty members: Associate Professor or Professor in the research stream, Associate Professor or Professor of Teaching; or,
- Full-time tenure-track faculty members: Assistant Professor in the research stream, Assistant Professor of Teaching.
The borrower (and spouse, if applicable) must:
- have a minimum of 5% of their own funds as equity in the property. Any borrowed funds, including Down Payment Assistance program funding, cannot be used towards this 5% equity requirement.
- qualify for a first mortgage loan amount through a participating financial institution unless they have sufficient funds to complete the purchase without one.
The property must be:
The PIRL is a UBC-funded low-interest and interest-payment-only loan for a period of 15 years. Loan amounts vary from $50,000 and up to $500,000 in rare and exeptional cases. The loan must be activatated within 10 years of approval, or in cases of recruitment, within 10 years of appointment. Once the loan is activated, the borrower will make monthly interest payments to UBC through regular payroll deductions. No principal payments are made throughout the loan period.
UBC charges the borrower the CRA prescribed interest rate used to calculate taxable benefits for employees from interest-free and low-interest loans. This interest rate is calculated by the CRA on a quarterly basis. The prescribed annual interest rate as of July 1, 2021 was 1%.
The initial loan annual interest rate is set at the time the money is advanced for a five-year term, and reset at the start of the two subsequent five-year terms. If the CRA prescribed interest rate decreases during any five-year term, UBC will charge the newer lower interest rate. If it increases, UBC will continue to charge the initial lower interest rate for the term.
A taxable benefit is earned only if the borrower pays interest at a rate lower than the prescribed annual interest rate, as illustrated in the sample calculation of interest rate charges and taxable beneifts for the PIRL.
The loan is secured through a second mortgage registered on title. Borrowers will not be entitled to refinance their home unless it is for the purpose of repaying the PIRL in full or to refinance or renew their first mortgage where the mortgage amount is less than or equal to the then outstanding first mortgage balance. Any other financing related to the property is subject to UBC approval. For more information on loan terms and conditions and the process to active the loan once you have been approved, please refer to the PIRL instructions.
The loan must be repaid in full to UBC upon the sale of the home or at the end of the 15-year loan period, whichever is earlier. The borrower may also make repayments throughout the loan period without any penaly. The minimum repayment amount is $5000.
UBC can demand repayment of the loan in certain circumstances, including if the borrower ceases to be a UBC employee or eligible faculty member, or if the property ceases to be the borrower's primary and only residence in Metro Vancouver.
Applications are received and considered on an ongoing basis. UBC Housing and Relocation Services coordinates the application process on behalf of the Provost Office. The Provost Office undertakes the strategic and academic merit review in consultation with the respective Dean. Each faculty has a framework to assess merit in the context of their strategic priorities. It is recommended that faculty members speak to their Department Head, Director or Dean before applying to understand how their application may be assessed.
Decision-making authority rests with the Provost Office. Decisions are final with no appeals allowed, but there is no limit on the number of times a faculty member can apply.
It is important to plan ahead. The review process typically takes 4-6 weeks once a complete application package has been submitted. Complex applications may take longer. Once approved, applicants must notify UBC of a purchase at least 4 weeks prior to the closing date for loan documentation to be prepared and mortgage funds released in time.
Who can apply?
Deans and department heads can apply on behalf of potential faculty members being recruited through the recruiter application portal. Be prepared to respond to a series of questions and upload documents including a copy of their UBC curriculum vitae and your recommendation.
Current Faculty Members can apply directly through the faculty member application portal. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to speak to their Department Head, Director, or Dean before applying to understand how they assess applications. Be prepared to respond to a series of questions and upload documents including your UBC curriculum vitae, a scholarship statement, and any other information you consider relevant to your application. You will also be required to acknowledge key terms of the PIRL program.
Contact Housing and Relocations Services office if you have questions about the PIRL program and application process.