City Hall’s first public hearing of 2017 saw progress on delivering over 300 new homes in partnership between the City and non-profit sector: Vancouver Masonic Centre (149 new homes), Fair Haven United Church (137 new homes) and Covenant House (75 new shelter spaces). All three projects approved are being developed in partnership with BC Housing.
“Delivering safe, secure and affordable housing is City Hall’s top priority as we grapple with the housing crisis, particularly for families and low income residents,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These new projects at Covenant House, the Masonic Centre and Fair Haven Church will deliver badly-needed affordable housing and amenities in the community. The City will continue to use all tools available, especially creative partnerships with the non-profit sector like these, to deliver more housing affordability now and for the future.”
More detail on projects approved:
- Vancouver Masonic Centre (1495 West 8th Avenue): a new, four storey building for the Centre, connected to an 18-storey rental building with 149 mixed income homes (minimum 30% for low income residents). The new building includes 70 studios, 40 one-bedroom and 39 (nearly 30%) family homes.
- Fair Haven United Church Homes (2720 East 48th Street, at Vivian): 137 new homes for seniors, replacing the current two-story, 50 home building, with 110 studios, 19 one-bedroom and eight one-bedroom wheelchair accessible homes.
- Covenant House (530 and 575 Drake Street): a 10 storey, social service building with 35 double occupancy and 5 single occupancy shelter rooms, programming and amenities for at-risk street youth.
All three newly approved rezonings meet the goals of the City’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy and the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability, and are in line with respective neighbourhood plans.
Last year, Mayor Robertson and Council took a number of steps to tackle Vancouver’s housing crisis, including:
- Investing $80M in the 2017 Capital Plan for affordable housing - the most ever;
- Approving a record number of new rental homes;
- Bringing in Canada’s first Empty Homes Tax;
- Regulating short-term rentals, like Airbnb;
- Pursuing modular housing on city-owned sites;
- Offering 20 sites of City-owned land worth $250 Million to senior governments to use for affordable housing;
- Increasing family home requirements in new housing projects to 35%; and
- Providing four City-owned sites to enable Vancouver’s first Community Land Trust.