On Tuesday, Vancouver city council approved 269 new units of social housing to be built using $8.7 million raised, in part, through the Empty Homes Tax (EHT).
According to a release, four proposed affordable housing projects in Vancouver will receive grants going towards the construction of 269 units of social housing as part of the Community Housing Incentive Program (CHIP).
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The grants total $8,710,000 and will be invested across four different groups. Finnish Care Home will receive $890,000 of the total, while Lee’s Senior Housing will see $655,000. The Salvation Army’s project funding will reach $910,000, and the largest sum will go to the Aboriginal Land Trust and Lu’ma Aboriginal Housing Society with a grant of $6,255,000
“As well as returning more homes to the rental market, the Empty Homes Tax is providing revenue to fund projects which will create new homes for our friends and neighbours, helping keep our communities strong and the people we love close by,” Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a release.
“Providing more affordable homes across Vancouver is Council’s top priority and with these grants – the first from the new program funded by EHT – a proposed housing project is more likely to attract funding from other partners, including more senior levels of government.”
The city says the CHIP program draws revenues from the EHT and the city’s capital budget. The program has $25 million to put towards improving social or co-op housing in Vancouver though contributions towards the cost of construction.
These are the first grants to be awarded by the program.