New affordable rental homes for moderate-income households

Renters in households earning between $30,000 and $80,000 annually could be able to qualify for homes in 20 new rental buildings under a new City of Vancouver pilot project.

Following a request for proposals under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Program, the City has shortlisted 20 new rental building proposals, which have been invited to submit rezoning applications. In each of these developments 25 per cent of the homes will be targeted to moderate-income households at affordable rates, and the remainder would be secured market rental units. If all the developments are built, this would create a total of 750 moderate-income homes and 2,250 market rental homes.

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Qualifying households for the moderate-income units would be those 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. A single person earning $70,000 a year would not qualify, for example.

The monthly rents for those will be set at what is deemed affordable for moderate-income households, as follows:

• studio units: $950

• one-bedroom: $1,200

• two-bedroom units: $1,600

• three-bedroom units: $2,000

The City said that any future rent increases on the moderate-income units will be permanently capped at the provincial Residential Tenancy Act annual allowable increase, regardless of unit turnover. This means that when tenants move out of a moderate-income unit, the rent for that unit cannot be reset to market rates.

Mayor Gregor Robertson stated, "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. 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 pilot project is part of the City’s Housing Vancouver strategy, which aims to build 72,000 new homes over 10 years, 50,000 of which would be rental.

More information is available on the City’s website here.

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