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. Applicants are assessed on academic merit and strategic importance to faculty and university-wide recruitment and retention priorities through an adjudication process overseen by the Office of the Provost. It is a highly competitive program with $15M available annually, so not all applications can be approved. The funding is replenished every April 1, which is the beginning of the new UBC fiscal year.
Full-time tenure-stream UBC Vancouver faculty members and strategic senior executive staff hires supported by the VP Human Resources are eligible for consideration. There is a recruitment stream for candidates still in the hiring process and a retention stream for current faculty.
The loan can be used to purchase or refinance residential property in Metro Vancouver to be used as the only and principal residence of the borrower as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) The borrower cannot own any other property in Metro Vancouver while the PIRL remains outstanding.
UBC requires the borrower to have a minimum of 5% of their own funds as equity in the property. Any borrowed funds, including UBC Down Payment Assistance program funding, cannot be used towards this 5% equity requirement.
The borrower will need to qualify for a mortgage loan through a participating financial institution unless they have sufficient funds to complete the purchase without one.
The PIRL is a UBC-funded 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 loan must be activated within 10 years of approval, if approved under the retention stream, or within 10 years of appointment if approved under the recruitment stream. 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. The CRA announces this interest rate on a quarterly basis. The prescribed annual interest rate for the first quarter of 2023 is 4%.
The initial loan annual interest rate is set for a five-year term at the time the money is advanced, and reset at the start of each subsequent five-year term. If the CRA prescribed interest rate decreases during any five-year term, UBC will reduce the interest rate to the lower rate. If it increases, UBC will continue to charge the lower initial interest rate for the term.
Loans in excess of $125,000 will be secured by a mortgage registered on title. Where there is a first mortgage, the PIRL will be secured as a second mortgage subject to the consent of the primary lender. 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.
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 penalty. 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.
For more information on loan terms and conditions and the process to activate the loan once you have been approved, please refer to the PIRL Instruction Booklet.
Application and Review Process
Applicants are assessed on academic merit and strategic importance to faculty and university-wide recruitment and retention priorities through an adjudication process overseen by the Office of the Provost. Department heads, directors, and deans are engaged to review applications and make recommendations to the Office of the Provost. Decision-making authority rests with the Office of the Provost. Decisions are final with no appeals allowed, but unsuccessful applicants may reapply in a subsequent fiscal year.
The PIRL program is highly competitive with finite funding, so not all applications can be approved. Faculty members should speak to their department head, director or dean before applying to understand how their application may be assessed.
It is important to plan ahead. Processing times can vary based on priority, application volume, and funding availability. Priority is currently being given to recruitment applications and retention applications of the highest strategic importance. And once approved, applicants must notify UBC of a purchase no less than 4 weeks prior to the closing date for loan documentation to be prepared and mortgage funds to be released in time.
Department heads, directors, or deans may apply on behalf of prospective or new recruits still in the hiring process through the recruitment application portal. Be prepared to respond to a series of questions and upload documents including a candidate curriculum vitae and recommendation letters from the sponsoring faculty and department or school. In spousal cases, one application is to be submitted for the household as only one PIRL will be allocated per household.
Current faculty members who have been in an eligible position for at least one full year can apply through the retention application portal. In spousal cases, both faculty members must apply jointly on a single application as only one PIRL will be allocated per household.
Faculty members are strongly encouraged to speak to their department head, director, or dean before applying to understand how their application may be assessed. 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the PIRL program and application process.