Canadian government offers funding boost for co-op housing in Vancouver

The project is part of the National Housing Strategy which has allocated a total of CA $55bn for affordable housing

The government of Canada is to invest up to CA$184m in the construction of affordable housing on city-owned sites in Vancouver.

Around to 1,100 units across Vancouver, ranging from proposed temporary modular housing, to mixed-market rental and housing co-operatives, will be funded through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The City of Vancouver will also contribute $96.6m (£60m) in nominal leases on city-owned land, grants and development cost levy (DCL) waivers.

The project forms part of the government’s National Housing Strategy, which has allocated a total of $55bn (£34bn) for building more housing.

Under the strategy, CMHC is guiding applications for its National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi) and Affordable Housing Innovation Fund.

Vancouver will focus on nine projects including Pierview Homes, which will see a 140-unit co-operative housing development delivered by Community Land Trust on city-owned land. The project is receiving a $53m (£33m) investment under the RCFi. The construction is underway in the River District and the development is set to open in 2020.

“Today is a great day for housing in Vancouver,{ said Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development, who is responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “The federal government is making a historic investment in housing that will help provide a safe and affordable place to call home for up to 1,100 families.

“With today’s announcement we are building on our investments that have helped over one million families across Canada.”

George Chow, member of Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Fraserview, welcomed the investment, “which will help to build much-needed homes for a range of people in need in Vancouver, including six projects the Province has committed funding to under the 10-year Homes for BC plan”.

He added: “We are working hard with all levels of government and community partners to build homes that British Columbians can afford, including more than 2,700 homes that are completed or underway in Vancouver.”

Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart said: “This landmark commitment helps us activate over $96m in city-owned land, grants and waivers, demonstrating what happens when governments work together in partnership and deliver on their promises.

“The combined funding in today’s announcement represents an incredible quarter billion-dollar investment in building a Vancouver that works for everyone. I look forward to similar future announcements to further address homelessness and secure the future of existing co-operative housing in the city.”