The City of Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) has been given the green light to build 250 new affordable rental homes on three City-owned sites, aimed to helping Vancouver families put down roots in Vancouver.
“It’s exciting to see VAHA move forward with these three sites to build more affordable housing for Vancouver families,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City has offered 20 sites worth $250 million to senior governments to build more affordable housing but we won’t wait to get started. Finding good quality, affordable rental homes in Vancouver for families is particularly challenging as our vacancy rate hovers near zero. City Hall will keep doing everything we can and pursue all tools available to tackle our housing crisis head on, and build more affordable housing so Vancouver can continue to be a place families call home.”
The three development sites were approved by the Development Permit Board yesterday evening and will offer a mix of housing to meet the needs of working residents, seniors and families at low to moderate incomes. Rental rates for all homes will be slightly below market rate, though deeper affordability will be achieved if VAHA can secure financial support through senior levels of government and other partnerships.
These development sites are part of the River District and the larger East Fraser Land Official Development Plan that sets out a vision for a complete community with diverse housing choices and supporting uses and amenities that enable residents to live, work, learn, shop and play within East Fraser Lands.
The three sites are located at:
3185 Riverwalk Avenue: Up to 107 affordable rental dwellings with one level of underground parking.
- Studio – 11 units
- One-bedroom – 19 units
- Two-bedroom – 49 units
- Three-bedroom – 28 units
3245 Pierview Crescent: Up to 51 affordable rental dwellings with one level of underground parking.
- Studio – 7 units
- One-bedroom – 13 units
- Two-bedroom – 19 units
- Three-bedroom – 12 units
3183 Pierview Crescent: Up to 89 affordable rental dwellings with one level of underground parking.
- Studio – 9 units
- One-bedroom – 11 units
- Two-bedroom – 44 units
- Three-bedroom – 25 units
The above sites are three of the 20 City-owned sites offered to senior levels of government to build affordable homes in partnership with VAHA.
Construction to start in spring 2017 and will take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete.
These new affordable rental homes follow on other steps the City is taking to address affordability, including:
- Implementing a tax on empty homes;
- Pursuing modular housing on city-owned sites for temporary affordable housing;
- Increasing family home requirements in new housing projects;
- Providing four City land sites to enable Vancouver’s first Community Land Trust
Earlier this year, the City and VAHA launched the first Land Trust, three sites of which were also in the River District. These sites will provide 358 new rental and co-op homes in Vancouver, thanks to an agreement between the governments of Canada and British Columbia, the City of Vancouver and the co-op and non-profit housing sector.
Since 2011, the City has enabled over 12,000 units of affordable housing by working with partners and creating new policies.
VAHA is a City-controlled, but legally separate, entity created to implement the recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability. VAHA has submitted complete development applications for three affordable housing sites in the River District (EFL Area 2 Parcels 3, 5A and 8A). VAHA intends to retain ownership and operate the buildings as affordable rental. The City is seeking to secure this tenure, and it is expected that building will not become market condominiums in whole or part. Indoor and outdoor amenity spaces are provided and will be shared by the building’s occupants.
For more information on the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, visit: vancouver.ca/vaha.