The City of Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) is taking steps to build 400 new affordable homes on four city-owned sites worth $50 million. These sites are the first four of the 20 City-owned sites offered to senior levels of government to build affordable homes in partnership with VAHA.
These new developments will offer a mix of housing to meet the needs of working residents, seniors, and families at low to moderate incomes.
“Developing these first four sites is a solid first step for the City’s Affordable Housing Agency. These 400 new affordable rental homes are desperately needed and can be made even more affordable with the support of senior governments,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“Finding quality, affordable rental homes in Vancouver – especially for people on low and average incomes – remains a significant challenge as the vacancy rate hovers near zero. At City Hall we’ll keep doing everything we can to tackle our housing affordability crisis head on, and pursue all options and tools available to build more affordable rental housing.”
Rental rates for all homes will be slightly below market rate, though deeper affordability will be achieved if VAHA can secure financial support through the senior levels of government and other partnerships.
VAHA is moving forward with the development of these sites to address the need for affordable rental housing in Vancouver. Rental vacancy rates are at 0.6%, one of the lowest in Canada.
The final number of homes on each site is subject to approval through the development permit and rezoning process.
Confirmation of funding partners and estimated projected timelines for completion of the four sites will be announced in fall 2016. As part of the development permit and rezoning process, the city will undertake community consultation for all four sites.
To develop these sites VAHA released a request for qualifications in November 2015 to the development community. The successful project partners are:
- Ventana Construction Corporation / Dys Architecture / City Spaces Consulting
- VanMar Constructors / CPA Development Consultants / GBL Architects
- Marcon Developments / Catalyst Community Developments