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Tag-Archive for ◊ rental housing ◊

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is introducing a motion at City Council tomorrow asking the City’s new Renters Advisory Committee to review the provincial Residential Tenancy Act, and provide recommendations to Council on key changes for which to advocate.

More than half of all Vancouver households rent. Vancouver has some of the lowest vacancy rates in the country, with the English Bay West End neighbourhood having a vacancy rate of just 0.7%. 3% is considered a healthy vacancy rate.

“The combination of rising rents and aging rental buildings is putting many families and seniors at risk, and we want to see changes in place to better protect renters in neighbourhoods throughout Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “While we’ve seen remarkable progress in recent years after decades of inaction – with more than 3,000 new rental units approved under our rental incentive programs since 2012 – more needs to be done to help support renters, especially those on low incomes.”

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Today Vancouver City Council approved a new 202-unit rental apartment at Kingsway and 11th, and a 61-unit rental building at 450 Gore Avenue, bringing much-needed rental housing to both the Mount Pleasant and Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods.

“The approval of these two projects is an important step for providing more housing options in a city that is challenging for people on low or modest incomes,” said Mayor Robertson. “Our city benefits from the thousands of rental units built in the 1960s and ’70s, and we urgently need to create new rental housing that fits with our neighbourhoods. These new homes are providing options for students, young families and seniors to live in our city, and we need more of them.”

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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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The City’s 2013 Housing Report Card, released today and presented to Council next Tuesday, shows that Vancouver is far exceeding its rental housing targets as part of a ten-year housing strategy.

In 2011, the City set the target of 1,500 new rental units by the end of 2014. As of today, the City is at 2,839 new rental units: achieving 189% of its current target, and more than halfway to Vancouver’s target for 2021.

“The record levels of new rental housing being built in Vancouver are an example of how our City’s housing plan is on the right track,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We need new rental housing to give young families, students and seniors an opportunity to live in Vancouver. The majority of our rental housing is ageing and in need of repair. New rental housing is crucial to easing the pressures of Vancouver’s rental market and giving people a quality home in our city.”

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to approve a balanced and community-driven plan for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) that will build significant new affordable housing and revitalize the neighbourhood’s heritage character.

The plan’s approval follows three years of development by a resident-led committee, and the hosting of over 300 meetings and consultation events.

“The Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan represents a thoughtful, balanced, and resident-driven vision for Vancouver’s oldest and most diverse neighbourhood,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This plan reflects residents’ aspirations for a community with safer and more stable housing, protections for low-income residents, stronger support for mental health and addictions, and a more vibrant local economy.

“This plan will create a healthier, more inclusive neighbourhood – but not at the expense of low-income residents.”

Strong new measures are incorporated to protect and improve existing low-income housing while adding new affordable options both in and outside of the neighbourhood, including 3,350 social housing units outside the DTES over the next 30 years.

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Two projects approved by Mayor and Council in recent weeks will deliver 86 new units of affordable new rental housing in East Vancouver, building on two consecutive record years for new rental housing and the City’s consistent work to support Vancouver renters.

A six-storey project at Kingsway and East 19th Avenue approved by Council this morning will deliver 44 units of new affordable rental housing, building on 42 units of new affordable rental housing in a four-storey project at 1412 East 41st Avenue that was approved on February 18. The projects were the final two proposals considered as part of the City of Vancouver’s Short Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) Program, which has recently transitioned into the new Rental 100 initiative.

“Our city has a pressing need for more affordable rental housing, especially for students, seniors, and young families,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Over half of all Vancouver residents rent their homes and our economy depends on being able to attract leading talent from around the world, yet vacancy rates remain near all-time lows. These new projects build on the City’s two record years of new rental housing and will help make Vancouver more affordable for residents of all backgrounds.”

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