Two projects approved by Mayor and Council in recent weeks will deliver 86 new units of affordable new rental housing in East Vancouver, building on two consecutive record years for new rental housing and the City’s consistent work to support Vancouver renters.
A six-storey project at Kingsway and East 19th Avenue approved by Council this morning will deliver 44 units of new affordable rental housing, building on 42 units of new affordable rental housing in a four-storey project at 1412 East 41st Avenue that was approved on February 18. The projects were the final two proposals considered as part of the City of Vancouver’s Short Term Incentives for Rental (STIR) Program, which has recently transitioned into the new Rental 100 initiative.
“Our city has a pressing need for more affordable rental housing, especially for students, seniors, and young families,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Over half of all Vancouver residents rent their homes and our economy depends on being able to attract leading talent from around the world, yet vacancy rates remain near all-time lows. These new projects build on the City’s two record years of new rental housing and will help make Vancouver more affordable for residents of all backgrounds.”
The 86 new rental units follow two consecutive record years for new Vancouver rental housing, with 1,097 units being approved in 2013 and 1,021 units in 2012 after zero in 2008 and 2009. These projects’ target rents of $1220 and $1200 for a one bedroom apartment are considerably more affordable than average rents for similar new apartments in Vancouver ($1,517).
The City is already on track to surpass the Housing and Homelessness Strategy’s end-of-2014 goal for new secured market rental housing by over 2,252 units.
The approval of these projects continues City Hall’s consistent work to support renters and make housing more affordable in Vancouver. These steps include:
- Launching a Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability
- Enabling significant new affordable housing on City-owned land with an innovative partnership that is creating 355 new affordable rental units on 4 City-owned sites in Southeast Vancouver
- Approving a record number of new rental housing units in 2012
- Hiring a new Chief Housing Officer for the City of Vancouver
- Approving the development of an arms-length Affordable Housing Authority
- Approving Vancouver’s first-ever co-housing project
- The opening of Vancouver’s first Rent Bank, to support renters in crisis with short-term loans
- The creation of the Rental 100 Program, which provides incentives for the development of new, 100% rental buildings
- Launching the Online Rental Standards Database, which enables renters to search out buildings that have current safety issues
- Hosting the ‘re:THINK Housing’ international ideas competition to solicit ideas from around the world on how to create new affordable housing
Featured Image by Nima Zadrafi from The Glass Eye.