VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Amid the ongoing housing affordability crisis, Vancouver is rolling out plans to build 1,000 new affordable rental units.
Calling it the largest one-time municipal land investment in non-market rentals in Canadian history, the city is telling us about a partnership with the Community Land Trust to build the units on seven city sites valued at $130-million.
Seven sites in Vancouver (source: City of Vancouver)
- 1190 Burrard Street and 937 Davie Street
- 1210 Seymour Street and 560 Davie Street
- 177 W. Pender Street
- 3279-3297 Vanness Avenue
- 1001 Kingsway Avenue
- 3183 and 3245 Pierview Crescent
- 3310 Marine Way
Mayor Gregor Robertson explains these homes are intended for households earning between $30,000 to $80,000 annually. “Our goal as a city is to make sure people who work in the city can actually live in the city as well and so the housing that we’re trying to building on city land is at rents that match that local income.”
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Robertson is also hinting at what pricing may look like. “Right from shelter rates at $375 [a month], hopefully there are a number of units at welfare rates right up to $1,800 to $2,000 for the family units.”
Three buildings are in the downtown core, two are in the Kingsway area, and two more in the new River District along Marine Drive.
Robertson says these projects could be even more affordable with the help of other levels of government.
“The way this project is put together, the city is leading,” explains Robertson. “We can go ahead as is, with the affordability that’s factored in. If the province and the federal government contribute more funding, we can deepen that affordability.”
There is also other city land that could be made available for future projects.
“The agency does have a few more sites that we would like to bring back in another portfolio very similar to this,” says Luke Harrison, chief executive of the Vancouver Housing Affordability Agency. “We’re also looking at other projects where we have direct partnerships with BC Housing — 58 West Hastings and those kinds of projects — we have direct partnerships with the provincial government or the federal government in delivering affordability.”
Factoring in this latest announcement, VAHA, the City of Vancouver and the Community Land Trust are building 1,500 new units at 12 different sites throughout the city.
Construction is expected to begin later this year with the units being move-in ready by 2021.