This is what the future could look like for rental units in Metro Vancouver

Jan 22 2018, 6:39 pm

Let’s be real, the demand for rental housing in Vancouver is higher than ever.

Up until now, a common pattern has prevailed; expensive rental units have made living in the city an unattainable dream for many. Hungerford Properties hopes to change that, as they’ve recently started construction on a brand new development that offers something long-awaited in Metro Vancouver: The Link.

It’s an innovative, mixed-use development project that blends social and market rental housing with commercial retail, all located near Boundary and Kingsway at the Vancouver-Burnaby border.

But what makes The Link stand out is that it redevelops an aging seniors residence called Odd Fellows Manor into a new, vibrant, six-storey, mixed-use development.

And it’s all happening because of a partnership between the non-profit, Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society, Terra Special Projects, GBL Architects, the City of Vancouver and Hungerford Properties.

Plans for The Link

The Link is set to be completed in 2019 and will see the creation of 148 new rental homes, including 44 new seniors housing suites. This means those earning a moderate income will have the chance to live in the city with amenities and transit close by, and enjoy life in contemporary rental units. There will also be commercial retail on the ground floor.

By partnering with a real estate developer, Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society was able to replace its seniors’ housing facility at no cost, while continuing to provide affordable homes for its residents.

The society will own its non-market units and Hungerford will retain the market-rental homes through a strata arrangement. While Odd Fellows residents will be temporarily relocated under a city program, current residents will have first right of refusal to move back into the new homes.

According to David Hurford, CEO for Three Links Care Society that manages Odd Fellows Society, this kind of partnership is “the wave of the future for housing developments.” “There’s such an appetite for projects like this, not only on the municipal level but provincially and nationally as well. Housing affordability is such a big problem, we need all hands on deck. We can’t afford to be working in silos,” says David Hurford.

He also noted that this project is the “poster child” for what both the federal and provincial governments are trying to accomplish. “It’s a good demonstration that governments can trust non-profits and private partnerships to work together for the public good,” Hurford added.

Michael Hungerford, a partner at Hungerford Properties added: “We are grateful to be part of the solution to creating more affordable housing in Vancouver and providing diversified housing stock. We are looking forward to working with our partners to develop more projects like this one.”

Affordable housing

“The new facility will allow us to continue to provide quality, modern, affordable housing to seniors on a low, fixed income with amenities close by and on transit. This project fills two gaps in providing affordable housing for the low-income, 50+ population and at the same time providing much-needed market rental,” said Three Links Care Society CEO, Hurford.

Hungerford is one of the first developers to combine social housing and market rentals in this unique partnership under the city’s new Rental 100 program. The Rental 100 program encourages the development of projects where 100% of the residential units are rental, with capped rental rates.

This policy targets moderate-income households and will help the city reach its goal of creating 5,000 new units of market rental housing by 2021.

For more information and to follow the updates on The Link, visit Hungerford Properties.

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