Sluggish progress on Cambie Corridor's non-market rental housing targets

Mar 6 2020, 8:06 pm

Two years after Vancouver city council approved major densification components of the Cambie Corridor Plan (CCP), a new city staff implementation monitoring report shows there has been little movement so far on achieving the 2026 interim social housing and below-market housing targets.

While there has been ample condominium, townhouse, and commercial construction, there are zero units of below-market rental housing under construction or even in the lengthy development permit stage. By 2026, there should be 190 units of below-market rentals completed.

With social housing, the target is to build 950 units by the middle of the decade, however, currently there are only 55 units completed and 138 units under construction, accounting for 20% of the goal. But projects are in the pipeline; there are 512 units in the development permit stage.

The secured market rental housing segment fairs better, with 483 units completed and 150 now under construction, reflecting 32% of the 2,000-unit target by 2026. Currently, 242 secured market rental units are in the development application stage.

These low completion and construction numbers are also reflected in a November 2019 city staff report that indicated the municipal government is falling behind on its overall citywide 10-year Housing Vancouver targets between 2018 and 2027. The citywide targets include the CCP.

Overall, all of the approved developments to date under the CCP will create a combined total of 5,300 new homes, with about 50% of the units sized for families, with two or more bedrooms.

Since 2011, the CCP has increased the area’s population by 5,300 people — from 33,600 to 38,900. It also added 327,800 sq. ft. of retail space and 272,300 sq. ft. of office space, creating space for about 2,000 jobs — specifically in the office and retail hub at the Marine Gateway development next to SkyTrain’s Marine Drive Station.

Through densification, the full CCP timeline through 2041 targets the completion of an additional 2,800 units of social housing, 400 units of below-market rental housing, 5,000 secured market rental housing, and up to 22,400 ownership housing, including condominiums.

With townhouses, the CCP has identified over 1,100 single-family lots for this housing form, creating up to 8,200 units. Most of these lots are clustered in the general vicinity of King Edward Station.

So far, 32 applications have been processed for a total of 103 parcels generating about 850 townhouses. Another 18 applications are currently being reviewed for about 600 additional units. The city is counting on townhouse development along the Cambie Corridor to make a significant dent towards the citywide 10-year townhouse housing goal.

The Cambie Corridor is eyed for some of the city’s most significant development projects; altogether, the CCP calls for up to 34,100 new homes, more than 50,000 additional residents and 9,000 new jobs over the next two decades. This includes major project sites such as Oakridge Centre, Oakridge Transit Centre, Heather Lands, Langara Gardens, and Pearson Dogwood.

Vancouver Cambie Corridor Plan 2018

Vancouver Cambie Corridor Plan 2018

The City of Vancouver’s Cambie Corridor Plan final draft, 2018. (City of Vancouver)