2020-2021 OVERVIEW

This page outlines the current UNA financial situation and some highlights from our 2020-2021 Operating Budget. For a more in depth view of the UNA Operating Budget, please see the full PDF version.

  • Current Situation
  • Proposed Additional Costs
  • Structural Deficit
  • Services Levy
  • UNA Revenue
  • Estimated Reserves Balances
  • Recreation & Culture Service Expenses
  • Engineering & Operation Expenses
  • General Operation Service Expenses


The Services Levy forms the primary source of funding for the UNA. It is calculated based on the differential of the City of Vancouver Tax rate and the Provincial Rural tax rate, meaning that UNA Neighbourhood Residents pay the same amount as City of Vancouver Residents. When Residents pay the Services Levy, it is deposited into the Neighbours Fund, and funds are then transferred to the UNA to support the delivery of municipal–like services in the neighbourhoods.

Please note that for accounting purposes, the Services Levy appears on official budget documents as the Neighbours Levy. This is due to the inclusion of both the Services Levy amount from UNA Residents and the GMSL (General Municipal Services Levy) amount from UNA Commercial tenants.

The UNA continues to face challenges due to rising costs associated with a growing population. UBC and the UNA have worked together to create a balanced budget while the Joint Financial Task Force and the Liaison Committee continue work on longer term solutions for the fiscal health of the UNA. As a result, the UNA will withdraw $42,000 from the Contingency Reserve to fund the structural deficit, with remaining funds in reserve of $916,000 for future years.

Through Phase 2 of the Joint Financial Task Force, UBC also committed to 4 years of further financial support for the UNA. The UBC Community Services Grant will provide up to $500,000 in 2020-21. UBC will fund the Community Services Grant from land development proceeds, ensuring the UNA’s financial pressures do not affect Residents’ service levels. This matches the $500,00 in assistance during 2019-20 to cover the year’s structural deficit.

As part of the budgeting process, the UNA assessed the funding needed to support ongoing and essential UNA services versus funding used for non-essential projects and programs, in order to identify any areas for potential cost reductions. Within the 2020-21 operating budget, 95% of expenses are related to operational, non-discretionary expenses required to provide services for Residents. This includes operating and maintaining the Community Centres, providing recreation programs, emergency preparation, and maintaining the neighbourhoods. The remaining 5% of the operating budget relates to additional resources provided by the UNA to the community, including funding for community committees.

The UNA has made a commitment to increasing the quality of communication between the UNA and Residents. This public consultation is one piece of the UNA’s planned communications strategy and will also include future communications from UBC and UNA better clarifying their roles in the neighbourhoods and the services provided by each.


Additional Costs due to proposed Bylaw and Neighbours’ Agreement Amendments

If the Neighbours’ Agreement amendments and UNA Bylaw changes are ratified in 2020-21, the UNA will incur $152,000 in additional costs annually. The cost of holding a Special General Meeting is a related cost that will only occur in 2020.

2020 Proposed Cost: $182,000
Annual Proposed Cost: $152,000

  • $130,000/year

    Insurance Costs – the UNA will be newly responsible for all insurance costs related to the UNA, including building and property insurance, and directors’ liability insurance. This is an annual cost subject to yearly increases in insurance rates, estimated at a 10% increase over 5 years.

  • $22,000/year

    Stipend for Elected Directors – per the bylaws, all elected resident directors are paid an annual stipend, adjusted annually for inflation and cost of living increases. This cost will cover an additional 3 directors.

  • $30,000 (2020)

    Special General Meeting – one-time cost for the 2020 meeting, to inform residents and vote on the proposed changes


The UNA experiences a structural deficit as revenues of the organization (Services Levy, Rec Centres, Other) are lower than the cost to operate and run the UNA, including maintenance of the neighbourhoods, operation of the community centres, and other civic administrative operations.

The structural deficit is projected to decrease, as a result of organizational cost reductions, increases in operational revenue and a 27% Services Levy increase. This continued improvement helps support the UNA’s movement towards financial sustainability.


  • Services Levy Increase

    The Services Levy is projected to increase 27%, from $4.7M in 2019-20 to $5.9M in 2020-21. As the population grows and tax rates stabilize, the Levy experiences growth and the structural deficit shrinks. Prior to 2018, there were several years of declines in the Services Levy due to dramatic increases in the City of Vancouver’s single family assessed home values and a lower mill rate. This resulted in restricted funding available to sustain service levels.

  • Water & Sewage Fee Increase

    The estimated Water & Sewage Fee has increased $94,000 from projected actual 2019-20 to 2020-21. The cost increase covers contribution of rain water to the storm sewer from the increased number of buildings in the Wesbrook neighbourhood, combined with an increase in water rates from the City of Vancouver.

  • Fire Services Fee Increase

    The Fire Services Fee is projected to increase by $166,000 due to increased City of Vancouver rates. This fee is paid to the Province for annual fire protection services provided by the City of Vancouver.
  • Athletics Access Fee Increase

    The Athletics Access Fee provides UNA Residents access to UBC Athletics services. Athletics Fees are currently set at 7.5% of the Neighbours Levy. As the levy has increased, the Athletics fee has increased as well.


Total revenue is expected to increase by 29%, excluding specific funding for the structural deficit. This increase is driven by a projected 27% increase in the Services Levy from 2019-20 to 2020-21. As well, the UNA continues to see growth in Recreation & Culture revenue from the community centres and recreation programs.


Current reserve balances are based on the balances in the Neighbours Fund 2018-19 Audited Financial Statements. The Contingency Reserve balance is inclusive of the 2019-20 use of $80,000, and budgeted 2020-21 use of $42,000.

Infrastructure Replacement Reserve
Current: $4,783,516
Previous: $4,616,950
Maximum: $10,000,000

Capital Replacement Reserve
Current: $1,895,852
Previous: $1,820,548
Maximum: $5,000,000

Contingency Reserve
Current: $916,910
Previous: $772,195
Maximum: $1,000,000

Rate Stabilization Reserve
Current: $72,303 
Previous: $286,654
Maximum: $2,000,000

Community Field Replacement Reserve
Current: $320,497 
Previous: $315,961
Maximum: $600,000


Engineering & Operations expenses are projected to increase 17% overall.

  • The increase is driven by a 17% increase in common area maintenance costs above current year projections. As neighbourhoods continue to be built out, common area maintenance costs are expected to increase.
  • Parking and Emergency Management expenses are expected to increase $39,000 over projected 2019-20 costs primarily due to bylaw enforcement costs, parking signage maintenance, and emergency supplies maintenance.
  • An additional $10,000 has been included for general UNA maintenance costs, and has been classified separately to improve tracking and management of expenses including snow removal, playground repairs, and field maintenance.


Recreation and Culture Service expenses are projected to increase 18% overall.

  • Wesbrook Community Centre and Old Barn Community Centre costs include all related operation costs, including janitorial services, site supervisors, amortization, equipment purchases and maintenance. The budget for 2020-21 includes planned building maintenance as well as equipment and fixture safety upgrades.
  • As part of a new budgeting process initiative, the UNA Programming Team completed a full-scale assessment of 2020-21 community centre programs to accurately assess the program plan, identify necessary resources and create a more precise estimate of both programming costs and revenues, aiming for full cost recovery as part of the UNA’s financial sustainability strategies. This plan considers the continued increases in program enrolment and facility usage, and the number of programs that operated at full capacity with waitlists during 2019 seasons. As a result, both budgeted program revenues and costs have increased for 2020-21.
  • Recreation Salaries & Benefits include a cost of living increase for all staff. As well, one part time staff salary has been reallocated to Administration Salaries & Benefits for 2020-21. One new full-time and one previously outsourced part-time position have been added to Recreation Salaries & Benefits for the new fiscal year.


General Operating Service expenses are projected to increase 19% overall.

  • Administration Salaries and Benefits increasing due to cost of living increase for all staff, as well as the reallocation of a staff position from Recreation Salaries & Benefits
  • The Communications budget of $240,000 is consistent with the 2019-20 budget, and higher than the projected 2019-20 actual. As part of the UNA’s ongoing commitment to improving the level and quality of communications between the Residents and the UNA, this budget will help support new and ongoing projects such as the UNA website, the Campus Resident, community engagement surveys and general communications.
  • Professional fees include hiring fees for a permanent executive-level position, legal and consulting fees.


The UNA asks Residents to provide comments on the budget between January 28, 2020 to February 10, 2020. Please note the 2020-21 budget must be approved by the Board prior to March 30, 2020. Please send your comments to the UNA Finance Manager, Morgan Chung at morgan.chung@myuna.ca