Twenty new rental buildings proposed for moderate income households

April 9, 2018 (Vancouver, BC) A new City-run pilot program is supporting the development of rental units for individuals and families earning between $30,000 and $80,000 annually.

The Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program is incentivizing the construction of rental apartment buildings where at least 20 per cent of the residential floor space is permanently affordable and targeted to households with moderate incomes.

Twenty proposals, comprising approximately 750 moderate income rental units and 2,250 secured market rental units, have been invited to submit rezoning applications, and seven proposals have been placed on a waitlist for future consideration if capacity becomes available. All projects will proceed through a full rezoning process, including public hearing.

"For many years, Vancouver has led the way with incentives to get new rental housing built while previous provincial and federal governments sat on the sidelines,” said Mayor Robertson. “This new City-led pilot project takes the next step by targeting individuals and households making $30,000 to $80,000 per year, many of whom don’t qualify for social housing but find market rents to be a financial stretch. With more than half of all Vancouverites renting their homes, we need to do everything we can to create the right supply of housing options for people who make local incomes."

The development industry was invited to submit Pre-Enquiry Applications between January 1 and February 16, 2018, to launch this new pilot program. There was significant interest in this opportunity, with over 50 submissions received.

The 20 short listed proposals include the following aspects:

  • 25% of the units were proposed to be Moderate Income Units
  • Sites were located in eleven different neighbourhoods
  • 35% of the sites were located on the West Side and 65% on the East Side

The cost of rent for Moderate Income Units has been set to match the affordability needs of individuals and families that do not qualify for or have access to social housing, and cannot afford market rents. Generally this means households with a single income of $30,000 to $50,000 per year, and dual income households earning between $50,000 and $80,000 per year.

Rent increases will be permanently capped at the provincial Residential Tenancy Act annual allowable increase, regardless of unit turnover. When tenants move out of a Moderate Income Unit, the rents for that unit will remain controlled and cannot be reset to market rates.

Administration of the Moderate Income Units, including tenant qualification and wait listing, will be the responsibility of each project owner or their property manager.

Unit Type Maximum Average Rent
Studio $950
1 bedroom $1,200
2 bedroom $1,600
3 bedroom $2,000

At the conclusion of the pilot, City staff will report back to Council with lessons learned and recommendations for future programs – including future calls for applications - to encourage the construction of Moderate Income Rental Housing.

Rental housing is critical to meeting the needs of a diverse population, and vital to a healthy economy. It also allows moderate-income households to stay in the city because household incomes of renters are typically half that of owners. In recognition of this, the City’s Housing Vancouver strategy has the goal of significantly increasing housing supply, with 72,000 new homes over 10 years and two-thirds of those as rental. Vancouver is already a leader when it comes to adding more rental housing supply, with more than half of all new rental housing in Metro Vancouver being built within the city.

More information is available online, including program administration and developer incentives, at: http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/creating-new-market-rental-housing.aspx