BC Housing provides $9.5 million for North Vancouver affordable housing building

Mar 19 2022, 1:54 am

The provincial government recently set aside $9.5 million for an affordable rental housing building project next to TransLink’s Phibbs bus exchange in North Vancouver District.

A six-storey, wood frame building, named Salal Apartments, will replace a land assembly of two single-family dwellings at 267 Orwell Street.

There will be 90 units, including 52 one-bedroom units, 27 two-bedroom units, and 11 three-bedroom units. Tenants will have access to outdoor amenities, including play areas and community gardens.

BC Housing has selected Sanford Affordable Housing Society (SAHS) to operate the building upon completion, which will work with Hollyburn Community Services Society on tenant selection. The units will be dedicated to moderate- and low-income individuals and families, with half of the units set at rent geared to income — rent levels established at 30% of the tenant’s income.

267-271 Orwell Street North Vancouver

Site of 267-271 Orwell Street, North Vancouver. (Google Maps)

267-271 Orwell Street North Vancouver

Site of 267-271 Orwell Street, North Vancouver. (Google Maps)

“Sanford Affordable Housing Society is excited to join our incredible partners to bring this project to the District of North Vancouver,” said Feezah Jaffer, executive director of Sanford Affordable Housing Society, in a statement.

“Our experience developing and operating housing for those with low to moderate incomes will serve this initiative well and we look forward to working with BC Housing, the district and Hollyburn Community Services Society to provide quality and affordable homes for many who are facing great challenges.”

267-271 Orwell Street North Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 267-271 Orwell Street, North Vancouver. (Office of Mcfarlane Biggar Architects and Designers / Sanford Affordable Housing Society / Hollyburn Family Services Society / Terra Housing)

267-271 Orwell Street North Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 267-271 Orwell Street, North Vancouver. (Office of Mcfarlane Biggar Architects and Designers / Sanford Affordable Housing Society / Hollyburn Family Services Society / Terra Housing)

The provincial government’s contribution towards the construction costs comes from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund. It will also provide SAHS with an annual operating subsidy of $415,000.

The District of North Vancouver provided the land for the project — valued at about $13 million — and waived various building development and permit fees. Additional support was provided by the federal government and Vancity Credit Union.

This project, designed by the Office of Mcfarlane Biggar Architects and Designers, is expected to reach completion in Fall 2023.

The municipal government’s affordable housing site is immediately adjacent to the Squamish First Nation’s reserve in the area. Last year, the First Nation approved plans to redevelop its property into a 28-storey tower with 280 affordable rental homes.

TransLink is also planning to commence construction on its long-planned overhaul of Phibbs bus exchange later this year.

squamish first nation housing seymour site

Conceptual form of a 28-storey affordable rental housing tower on the Squamish First Nation’s Seymour site next to TransLink’s Phibbs exchange. (Squamish First Nation)

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