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Ninety new affordable homes open in District of North Vancouver

June 19, 2024 at 2:01 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Families and individuals have begun moving into 90 new affordable rental homes in North Vancouver as construction is complete on the Salal Apartments.

“Salal Apartments will provide families and individuals with a mix of rental rates, including deeply subsidized rates and rent geared to income,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We’ve made changes to the Local Government Act and Vancouver Charter to make it easier to build non-market housing, so that people have access to affordable housing options, like the Salal Apartments, in their home communities.”

Salal Apartments is located at 267 Orwell St. in Lynn Creek, a walkable, transit-oriented community close to parks, schools, services and other amenities. A new bike lane connects residents with the neighbourhood and the recently upgraded Phibbs Exchange provides access to the region with its 13 bus routes.

“These new homes will go a long way to support members of our community,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for Vancouver-Lonsdale. “The Salal Apartments will allow families to continue to live and work in their community with housing options that meet the needs of growing families. I’m proud to be part of a government that is investing in affordable housing in the District of North Vancouver.”

Salal Apartments is a six-storey wood frame building owned and operated by Sanford Affordable Housing Society. It offers 52 one-bedroom units, 27 two-bedroom units and 11 three-bedroom units for households with low and middle incomes.

“The availability of affordable housing is a critical issue for our residents,” said Mike Little, mayor, District of North Vancouver. “I am pleased that we were able to work together with our partners, including the Province of B.C. and Sanford Affordable Housing Society, to increase the number of housing options in our community for those with low and moderate incomes.”

To support the development of affordable housing projects, such as the Salal Apartments, the Province has introduced a new regulation for amenity cost charges (ACC), a new development finance tool that was introduced in fall 2023. It allows local governments to collect funds from new developments for amenities that help create complete communities. To make it easier for developers to build non-market affordable housing, certain types of affordable housing will be exempt from paying ACCs, including:

  • rental units and supportive housing units owned or leased and operated by a government entity or non-profit housing provider;
  • non-profit co-operative housing;
  • transitional housing; and
  • emergency shelters.

These regulations are part of the Homes for People plan to give local governments the authority and support to increase affordable housing with proactive planning tools.

“These 90 homes will provide affordability, safety and security for thousands of individuals and families over the life course of this building,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of British Columbia Non-Profit Housing Association. “It takes every level of government working together with the non-profit housing sector to deliver buildings like these and we’re looking forward to many more such announcements in the future.”

These changes will support the Province’s affordable housing programs by ensuring that affordable housing projects developed or funded by governments have consistent and predictable financial relief from ACCs, contributing to achieving greater affordability and an increased likelihood that these projects will be built.

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 80,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 1,300 homes on the North Shore.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $9.5 million to the project through the Community Housing Fund, and will provide approximately $415,000 in annual operating subsidies. 
  • The District of North Vancouver provided the land, valued at approximately $8.3 million, as well as development cost charge waivers of approximately $1.6 million.
  • The Government of Canada, through the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, provided a seed funding grant of $50,000.
  • Vancity Credit Union provided a grant of $15,000.

Learn More:

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

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