Mayor Robertson and Council made progress in adding more supply to the City’s rental market at last night’s public hearing, approving two new projects under the City’s Rental 100 policy that will add 200 new homes in East Vancouver. Combined, the new projects will provide 29 studios, 105 one-bedroom, and 66 new family homes.
“We are making strides in approving more rental housing than ever before at a time when there is near-zero rental vacancy and pressure on our residents to find affordable places to live,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City will continue to aggressively pursue adding more rental supply to the market, and look at all tools available to create a level playing field for access to affordable, quality rental housing.”
The new Rental 100 projects are:
- A six-storey mixed use building at Kingsway and St. George, with ground floor retail and 109 new rental homes, including 29 studios, 53 one-bedroom, and 27 two-bedroom homes.
- A six-storey mixed use building at Hastings and Kaslo, with 91 new rental homes including 52 proposed one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom and five three-bedroom homes.
Since 2009, the City has approved 5,663 new rental homes, nearly 1,300 of which were approved under the Rental 100 policy adopted in 2012. The City’s Rental 100 policy provides incentives to projects where 100 per cent of the residential rental homes are secured for 60 years or life of the building, whichever is greater.
These new approved rental homes follow on other steps the City is taking to address affordability, including:
- Implementing a tax on empty homes;
- Directing staff to work with AirBNB and other listing services to collect data on the frequency and volume of short-term rental housing;
- Pursuing modular housing on city-owned sites for temporary affordable housing;
- Offering 20 sites of City-owned land worth $250 Million to senior governments to use for affordable housing;
- Calling for both a speculation tax and a luxury sales tax to create a more level playing field in the housing market;
- Directing staff to increase family unit requirements in new housing projects;
- Providing four City land sites to enable Vancouver’s first Community Land Trust.