Category Archives: UBC Housing Action Plan

UBC Board approves improved faculty housing assistance program

It is hiring season at UBC and my inbox was feeling it. “Housing is proving a major factor in our current recruitment round. What is the status of the housing action plan,” wrote a department head. Similar queries were coming … Continue reading

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A historic institutional housing action plan at UBC

Cambridge and Oxford Universities have one. The Weizmann Institute has one, and so does Harvard, Princeton, NYU, Columbia, Stanford, UCLA and UC-Irvine. And in a Canadian first, in a move that will differentiate UBC from any other university in Canada, UBC has now … Continue reading

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We have a plan!

A UBC Housing Action Plan that is, which –I believe– will help improve housing choice and affordability for faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students on the Vancouver campus. Actually, it is still only a discussion paper waiting for your … Continue reading

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My opening remarks at the UBC housing forum

Various and somewhat distorted versions of my statements at yesterday’s UBC housing forum were published on several websites. I am therefore posting here the full text of my opening remarks.

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“A no-brainer, if you ask me”

That was in an email from a colleague at one of UBC’s better departments. “Gents, In your capacities as …, and BoG-dude (AKA faculty representative on the Board of Governors), have a look at these two links. A no-brainer, if you ask … Continue reading

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Lessons learned: Housing at NYU, Columbia, Harvard, UCLA and UC-Irvine

Last June, I and a few other UBC Governors and senior staff visited NYU, Columbia, Harvard, UCLA, and UC-Irvine. Just like UBC, these universities are located in areas where housing prices are prohibitive. And just like them, UBC is in … Continue reading

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The problem with developing a “Housing Action Plan” for UBC (II) – Cash Flow

The UBC administration is quite aware of how critical the issue of housing is to the future of the university and is committed to addressing it. The President said as much in his latest town hall meeting, and the Board … Continue reading

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The problem with developing a “Housing Action Plan” for UBC (I) – Attitudes

Many hurdles face the prospect of a sound “Housing Action Plan” for UBC, not the least of which being personal attitudes shaped by Vancouver’s real estate subculture, the variable academic standards within the university, the ethical issues of eligibility and … Continue reading

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The real cost of non-affordable housing in and around UBC

One colleague wrote, “I think you will find many [such] stories among recent hires at UBC who left us due to the real estate woes, or candidates we wanted to attract who took a look at the housing prices and voted … Continue reading

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The future of UBC could be determined by … Housing

Providing faculty housing is partly how Stanford grew from nowhere in 1960 to elite in 1980. Columbia’s renaissance in the 1980′s as one of the top Ivy league institutions has been credited to opportunistic housing purchases around campus which allowed the … Continue reading

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UBC to incentivize its own to live on the university land

In the next five days, I and a few other UBC governors and senior staff will be visiting NYU, Columbia, Harvard, UCLA, UC-Irvine and Stanford. Just like UBC, these universities are located in areas where housing prices are prohibitive. And … Continue reading

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Engaging the UBC Housing Action Plan

The British Columbia government has recently approved the amendments to the UBC Land Use Plan that were submitted by the Board of Governors. The plan calls, among other things, for a densification of the university land, in order to address … Continue reading

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UBC and U of T: A tale of two student housing initiatives

Last week, both UBC and the University of Toronto announced major plans to increase student housing opportunities on their campuses. Two completely different approaches, both motivated by the same determination to “go even more global”, and by their respective government’s … Continue reading

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UBC President puts his money where his singing voice is

The students were the big winners at yesterday’s UBC Board of Governors meeting. Credits go to a disciplined, focused and resourceful UBC Administration that has come a long way, and to exceptional student representatives, notwithstanding the little help that both … Continue reading

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UBC Land Use Plan – Part I

  The background: UBC essentially “controls” one of the most valuable pieces of land in North America. The challenge is to try to unlock the multi-billion dollars value of that land in order to support student, faculty and staff housing, … Continue reading

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No Stephen O, the university can never live off its land

Stephen Owen, UBC’s vice-president, external, legal and community relations, is a man of high integrity, credibility, and respect, with whom I agree on most issues.  I however, happen to fundamentally disagree with some of his premises in his latest article … Continue reading

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What is Bill 20?

On June 24th, the Government of B.C. passed a new legislation that will have a major impact on UBC’s Vancouver campus. Bill 20 transfers the responsibility for approving land use plans for the bulk of UBC’s Vancouver campus lands from … Continue reading

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