Six-storey housing co-op proposed for Renfrew-Collingwood

Project, developed by the Community Land Trust, to be built on city-owned land

A new housing co-op could be coming to Renfrew Collingwood with rents in most of its 102 units targeted towards households earning less than $50,000.

The Community Land Trust, which is developing the project on city-owned land, filed a rezoning application for the proposed building, which would be six-storeys at its highest part.

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Four vacant lots from 3279 to 3297 Vanness Ave., not far from Joyce-Collingwood Skytrain Station, will be used for the development. It’s being considered under the Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Plan.

Darren Kitchen, a spokesperson for the Community Land Trust, said an applicant-led open house was held a couple of weeks ago, while the city-led one is set for May 9.

“[Reaction] was good [at the applicant open house]. It’s affordable housing. There are inevitably some concerns about building form and things for people who live very close but overall it was pretty positive,” he said.

The building will be built to Passive House standards.

The site of the proposed housing co-op is not far from Joyce-Collingwood Skytrain station.
The site of the proposed housing co-op is not far from Joyce-Collingwood Skytrain station.

Rents for the units will be based on BC Housing requirements.

Rents for 20 per cent of the units will be at shelter rates, while 50 per cent will be at 70 per cent of Housing Income Limits (HILs) rates. The remaining 30 per cent will be at the average CMHC rent for the neighbourhood.

With respect to the HILs rate category, Kitchen said to qualify for a studio, the household income would be about $30,000 a year, while for a three-bedroom, it would be about $47,000 to $48,000.

Income requirements for the low end of the market would be about $50,000 for a studio and up to around $88,000 to $90,000 for a three-bedroom.

The project is being fast-tracked.

“We’re part of a trial expedited approval process at the city, which says we go from rezoning to building permit issued in 40 weeks,” Kitchen said. “So that’s roughly around Christmas, and we’ll break ground in the New Year. It’s approximately a 17- or 18-month build.”

The project is part of a larger initiative the Community Land Trust is involved with to build 1,000 new affordable rental units, aimed at households earning between $30,000 and $80,000 annually, on seven city-owned sites across Vancouver through the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA). The lands are valued at about $130 million. 

One of the project,  at 3183 and 3245 Pierview Cres., is already underway. Excavation on the site started a few months ago. (Read more about that project HERE.)

The five other projects are located at:

  • 1190 Burrard St. and 937 Davie St.
  • 1210 Seymour St. and 560 Davie St.
  • 177 West Pender St.
  • 1001 Kingsway, and
  • 3310 Marine Way.

Kitchen said they’re at various stages of the municipal rezoning process.

The upcoming open house about the Vanness Avenue rezoning application runs from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce St., May 9.


View from McHardy Street. Rendering ZGF Architects
View from McHardy Street. Rendering ZGF Architects


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