New affordable rental project underway in Vancouver

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

With the help of the National Housing Strategy, construction is underway at a 145-unit mixed-use building just outside of downtown Vancouver, with 120 homes earmarked at affordable rents lower than 30 per cent of Vancouver’s median household income. Affordability at the development will be held for at least a 60-year period.

Through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), the federal government is committing $48.5 million toward construction of the 9-storey project. The City of Vancouver, through Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA), has provided land for the 60-year lease of the site, estimated at $16.85 million.

The RCFi encourages construction of affordable rental housing, adding much needed rental supply to help hard working middle-class families who are struggling in expensive housing markets across the country.

“It is with a strong sense of purpose that our government is contributing to help make this housing development a reality,” said the Hon. Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government. “With the help of the National Housing Strategy’s Rental Construction Financing initiative, large projects like this are breaking ground across the country. Together with our partners, we’re building rental market capacity that will benefit a generation of hard-working middle-class Vancouverites.”

Located at 188 East 6th Avenue, the development is situated near amenities, including shopping, restaurants, schools, parks, bike paths and public transportation.

“We’re proud to have provided the land for this development which will create much-needed affordable homes for hundreds of people in Vancouver, “ said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “This new building will ensure that Vancouver’s residents—especially families—can stay living and working here in the city. We’re grateful for our partnership with Catalyst Community Developments Society and with the federal government—affordable housing is our number one priority and we know that working together with non-profit developers and with different levels of government is the best way to deliver homes for lower- and middle-income households.”

According to plans, the project is designed to achieve energy-efficiency savings of 23 per cent and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 27 per cent relative to National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2015.

About RCFi

Launched in April 2017, the RCFi has generated a lot of interest and a high number of quality applications. This is why through Budget 2018, the government increased the amount for low-cost loans provided by this initiative from $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion and further increased to $13.75 billion with budget 2019. In total, the RCFi will encourage the construction of 42,500 new rental housing units across Canada.

Low-cost loans are available to borrowers who want to build affordable rental housing in Canada in response to demonstrated community need.

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