$150M in federal financing could help address UBC rental housing woes

Sep 7 2023, 9:25 pm

The federal government is investing nearly $150 million to build hundreds of new homes in Vancouver — many of which will benefit the UBC community.

A statement from the federal government said the investment will be made in fully repayable low-interest loans through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi) to build 364 purpose-built rental homes across three developments in Vancouver.

The announcement aims to help increase the housing supply in the country “so that all Canadians have a safe place that they are proud to call home,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing.

David Poettcker, director of development at UBC Properties Trust, pointed out the announcement is welcome news as the wait list for housing at UBC grows.

“The need for more rental housing is ever-present,” he said. “Thanks to this program, 246 much-needed new homes will now be available at below market rents to the UBC community.”

This includes $44.2 million in low-cost financing for The Evolve project at 3518 Wesbrook Mall with 110 rental homes for UBC faculty and staff, with the project completed in August 2022 and fully leased.

Another $46.4 million went to Mundell House at 6038 Birney Avenue, which provides 136 rental homes for university faculty and staff. It reached completion in August 2020, and is fully leased.

The largest amount for financing in this round is for “19 on the Greenway” at 3619-3681 Arbutus Street, which received $59 million. Construction on two buildings with 118 rental homes will reach completion in March 2025.

All three projects are part of the previous August 2023 overall announcement of $500 million in low-cost federal financing for 1,100 rental homes in Vancouver.

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