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Tag-Archive for ◊ affordable housing ◊

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.

“In a city where 52% of households rent their homes, far too many families know what it’s like to face an unexpected crisis and stay afloat in paying the rent,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The Vancouver Rent Bank has proven itself as a remarkably successful tool to help low-income renters keep their homes in times of incredible difficulty. It’s a program that prevents homelessness and provides housing stability for families in need, and I look forward to supporting it again next week at City Council.”

The Vancouver Rent Bank is a multi-partner initiative jointly funded by the City of Vancouver and a variety of community partners. In 2012, City Council approved a grant of $148,800 over three years to support its operating costs.

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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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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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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.

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More than 50% of new rental and social housing approved in the past decade was done in the last two years alone, according to City of Vancouver data that demonstrates an affordable housing surge in Vancouver.

According to year-to-date data through July 2014, 67% of all rental housing approved since 2003, and 55% of all social housing approved since 2003, has taken place since 2012.

“We’re seeing record levels of new rental and social housing being built in Vancouver, which is crucial for building a future where our city is more inclusive and prosperous,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re seeing new housing built that meets the needs of people who live and work in our city. Our housing plan and programs are working and the shovels in the ground prove it.”

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