Following a successful three-year pilot project to assist low-income renters in crisis, Mayor Gregor Robertson is highlighting the success of the Vancouver Rent Bank. Council will vote next week on a grant of $99,200 to contribute to the program’s operations for two more years.
Affordable Housing and Support for Renters
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.
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.
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.”
Year-end figures show that Vancouver set a record for new laneway housing, with 357 permits issued in 2014. This follows 345 and 350 permits issued in 2013 and 2012. Vancouver also saw a strong surge of new rental housing, with 953 new units approved, following 1,104 in 2013. In 2008, there were zero units approved.
"With more than half our city renting and some of the lowest vacancy rates in Canada, new rental housing is meeting a crucial need for Vancouver residents," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The success of our laneway housing program is delivering modest-income rental housing for seniors and young families, and new rental apartments are springing up along transit routes, providing a more affordable option than condos.