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Archive for ◊ Affordable Housing ◊

Following a public hearing last night, the City of Vancouver’s by-law for social housing now includes legal requirements for affordability of the units, strengthening the protection of low-income housing in Vancouver.

“By putting firm affordability requirements in place, Council is making sure that more social housing is going towards people on low incomes,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These changes reflect what we heard from hundreds of workshops and community consultations during the development of a new Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Plan. This is a significant step and one that adds to our work to build and protect affordable housing in Vancouver.”

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This morning I took part in the City’s annual homeless count. I’m proud that as a City we set an ambitious goal seven years ago to end street homelessness. While I’m disappointed today that we’re not closer to zero than we are, as a city we’ve made progress. No one ever said it would be easy, but I know Vancouverites want and expect us to set important goals and take action.

The projects we’ve invested in have helped save lives, including over 500 units of permanent, interim, and shelter housing added in the last year alone. Interim housing at the Ramada on Hastings now provides warm homes for 40 people. Taylor Manor offers 56 people housing and mental health supports. The Quality Inn on Howe Street is housing more than 100 people, many of whom were homeless in Oppenheimer Park last fall. The 14 sites in partnership with BC Housing are giving hundreds of people safe, permanent homes throughout Vancouver.

These are homes for some of our most vulnerable residents. People on welfare, foster kids, people who deal with addictions and mental illness who would otherwise be on the streets. I’m proud that we’ve enabled homes for them, and the successes we’ve seen are directly related to setting a bold goal and taking action.”

I remain fully committed to building a Vancouver where no one is ever forced to sleep outside at night, both by continued work with our partners and by taking action with every resource at the City’s disposal. We’ve come a long way since 2008, and we’re going to keep following through on what we as a City can do: providing space for shelters, investing in interim housing, and providing land for social housing with the Province.

- Mayor Gregor Robertson

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is introducing a motion at City Council tomorrow asking the City’s new Renters Advisory Committee to review the provincial Residential Tenancy Act, and provide recommendations to Council on key changes for which to advocate.

More than half of all Vancouver households rent. Vancouver has some of the lowest vacancy rates in the country, with the English Bay West End neighbourhood having a vacancy rate of just 0.7%. 3% is considered a healthy vacancy rate.

“The combination of rising rents and aging rental buildings is putting many families and seniors at risk, and we want to see changes in place to better protect renters in neighbourhoods throughout Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “While we’ve seen remarkable progress in recent years after decades of inaction – with more than 3,000 new rental units approved under our rental incentive programs since 2012 – more needs to be done to help support renters, especially those on low incomes.”

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Today Vancouver City Council approved a new 202-unit rental apartment at Kingsway and 11th, and a 61-unit rental building at 450 Gore Avenue, bringing much-needed rental housing to both the Mount Pleasant and Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods.

“The approval of these two projects is an important step for providing more housing options in a city that is challenging for people on low or modest incomes,” said Mayor Robertson. “Our city benefits from the thousands of rental units built in the 1960s and ’70s, and we urgently need to create new rental housing that fits with our neighbourhoods. These new homes are providing options for students, young families and seniors to live in our city, and we need more of them.”

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council approved the City of Vancouver’s 2015 Budget today, a balanced and forward-looking plan that continues strong business discipline at City Hall while making significant investments in key community priorities.

“Vancouver’s 2015 Budget is an ambitious, responsible and community-driven plan that strengthens our communities today and invests in our city’s future,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We heard from Vancouver that residents want their budget to support new affordable housing, better transportation, public safety, improved parks and action to meet our Greenest City goals. The 2015 Budget invests in all of these urgent priorities while keeping taxes low and enhancing City services, and I’m very proud to support it.”

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council approved a $1 million grant this morning that will help reopen the Bosman Hotel in Downtown Vancouver for affordable housing, providing 100 homes for people on low incomes.

“This project will be a big boost for people on low incomes who call Downtown Vancouver home and are having trouble finding a place to live,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Thanks to a creative partnership with the owner of the building and Community Builders Group, we’re able to utilize the Bosman Hotel and open its doors for people who need housing the most.”

The $1 million grant from the City is part of ongoing investments by City Council to invest in low and modest-income housing. It will allow 100 rooms in the Bosman to be renovated and restored. Community Builders Group has signed a lease with the owner of the Bosman for the next five years to use it as affordable housing.

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