The City of Vancouver has approved the creation of a new affordable housing agency.
The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) plans to create 500 affordable housing units over the next three years.
These housing units will be aimed at low to moderate income earning households. Specifically, this will range from residents living on welfare, to those who earn a maximum household income of $86,500. 2,500 housing units are to be available by 2021.
The creation of this housing depends on proposals made by the public and private sector. VAHA will facilitate in the creation of new projects as well as the expansion of existing co-ops or housing facilities. The agency’s goals are to try and eliminate the bureaucratic processes that are responsible for slowing down the availability and construction of low-income housing.
In a statement released by the Office of the Mayor, Gregor Robertson explained that, “The Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency will be a key tool in the City’s efforts to create new affordable housing that meets the needs of local residents.”
VAHA will also collect data regarding issues such as vacant homes and will provide recommendations on how to decrease investor speculation and unneeded vacancies in Vancouver’s housing market.
The agency includes the involvement of community members, real estate experts and non-profit housing agency representatives, who will be appointed by city council.
Homelessness continues to be a prominent issue in Vancouver. The 2014 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count revealed that a total of 2,770 people in the Metro Vancouver region identified as homeless as of March 12. The unsheltered homeless population was reported at 957 people living outdoors or staying with others.
Featured Image: Vancouver City Hall via Shutterstock