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Tag-Archive for ◊ housing ◊

Vancouver’s new Affordable Housing Agency has identified seven sites to build an estimated 800 units of affordable housing, with a priority on new homes for families.

A staff report to City Council today outlined the VAHA’s business plan, including its organizational structure, housing targets, projected rent mix and land for development. Council has dedicated $62 million in the 2015 Capital Plan to invest in affordable housing, with the expectation of leveraging up to $250-300 million from other partners.

“Our Affordable Housing Agency is one of many tools we’re using to get new housing built that meets the needs of Vancouver residents, especially families,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “By using city land to leverage investments from non-profits, the private sector and senior levels of government, we’re pursuing yet another option for enabling the new affordable housing that our city needs.”

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Increasing family housing near parks and schools, and setting higher requirements for three bedroom homes in rezonings, are two of the new policies City staff are pursuing as part of efforts to increase housing for families in Vancouver.

“There is a clear need for more family housing in Vancouver, and City Hall is doing everything we can to make sure new housing is built that meets the needs of Vancouver families,” said Mayor Robertson. “Family housing is crucial for both the health of our neighbourhoods, as well as supporting our growing economy, so that we can attract and retain people who want to work in Vancouver.

“We’re going to keep looking at new ideas to meet our affordable housing challenges head-on, and make sure we’re providing opportunities for young people to put down roots in Vancouver.”

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Today City Council approved new incentives to get more family housing built in Vancouver. The changes build on the success of the City’s Rental 100 program, which provides incentives for the construction of rental apartments instead of condos and has generated almost 4,000 new rental homes.

The staff report shows a significant lack of family housing in Vancouver. Out of 55,800 rental housing units in Vancouver, there are just over 500 three bedroom units – less than 1%. The City will allow Development Cost Levies to be waived on the construction of new three bedroom rental units, with a size limit of 1,044 square feet – in line with BC Housing Standards for affordable housing.

“We need more housing built for families in Vancouver, and this is one tool the City can take to make it happen,” said Mayor Robertson. “Given how few units there are, it’s clear we cannot leave it to the housing market to generate three bedroom homes. Families need a place in Vancouver and that means providing a wider range of housing options.”

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The City approved the creation of a new Affordable Housing Agency last night, an arms-length organization based on best practices in other cities to enable the creation of new low and modest income housing in Vancouver.

The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) will also collect available data on issues such as vacant homes, and provide information on ways to limit investor speculation and unnecessary vacancies in Vancouver’s housing market.

“The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency will be a key tool in the City’s efforts to create new affordable housing that meets the needs of local residents,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “As well, by designating it as a research hub to monitor issues such as vacant homes and excessive investor speculation, the VAHA will contribute to an informed, fact-based discussion of Vancouver’s housing market.”

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The City is set to launch the new Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency this week, with a report coming to City Council to establish a new agency that will deliver 2,500 new units of affordable housing over six years. It is based on a recommendation from Mayor Robertson’s Affordable Housing Task Force.

“The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency is our next step in creating new affordable homes for local residents in Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We need to be providing a range of housing for different incomes – not just welfare rates, but low and middle-incomes as well.

“We can’t just let the market decide. The City needs to be a leader in creating the affordable housing our residents deserve, especially when there is such a shortage of affordable homes in Vancouver. The VAHA will help make that happen, and I urge all of City Council to support it this Tuesday.”

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City Council approved a series of measures today to increase protection for heritage and character homes, taking new steps to reduce demolitions and create incentives to preserve historic homes.

“These new policies are practical steps to preserve neighbourhood character, and respond to the concerns we’ve heard from local residents about the demolition of older homes,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’ve put in place new incentives to encourage homeowners to choose preservation over demolition, which will help us maintain heritage and move us closer to our greenest city goals.”

City Council approved the following policies today, which City staff brought forward following direction from Council in 2013 to develop a Heritage Action Plan, as well as part of the Greenest City Action Plan:

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