Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Thanks to investments made by the Government of Canada, the City of Vancouver, and Vancity, residents of Vancouver will now have access to more stable, affordable, rental housing options.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, alongside Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver, participated in the grand opening of Aspen, a 145-unit affordable housing project located at 188 East 6th Avenue in Vancouver. The project received federal funding of $48.5 million. The City of Vancouver has provided land for the 60-year lease of the site, estimated at $16.85 million.
Aspen, developed by Catalyst Developments, is a 9-storey residential building that will provide the vibrant Mount Pleasant community of Vancouver with 145 new units of much needed rental housing. The project offers a mix of studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, is pet-friendly, a community garden, and features a health centre on the ground floor.
Partners also celebrated the opening of Alder located at 3625 Sawmill Crescent by Catalyst Developments – a 5-storey residential building providing Vancouver with 119 new units of much needed rental housing, ranging from studios, one, two, and three-bedroom units. The project received federal funding of $39.8 million and is located on land leased from the City of Vancouver and is subject to a Housing Agreement which will hold the affordability for at least 60 years.
Vancity Credit Union and the Vancity Community Foundation provided $1 million in pre-development and five hundred thousand dollars in pre-construction financing for the project, in partnership with CMHC through the Vancity Affordable Housing Accelerator Fund. The Accelerator Fund creates social change by accelerating the supply of climate-ready affordable housing for low to moderate income households, by providing low-cost capital to affordable rental projects.
A total of 70% of these will be below the City of Vancouver published average market rental rates, and the remaining 30% will be at or under the Housing Income Limits. For further information on rental rates, please consult the Catalyst Developments website.
The projects received funding through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program that supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families in expensive housing markets.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why, through investments in Alder and Aspen, our government is taking action to not only increase the supply of new rental developments, but to also provide affordable housing options that are closer to jobs, services and amenities, that Vancouverites need. Best of luck to the new residents who have new affordable places to call home.”
“These 264 new affordable rentals are the latest in thousands of homes approved and underway that are helping build a Vancouver that works for all of us. Thanks to our ongoing housing partnership with the Government of Canada, and the expertise of community builders like Catalyst and Vancity, hundreds of our neighbours and their families have a renewed sense of hope that can only come from a safe and affordable place to call home.”
“Greater Vancouver, and every growing region in Canada, is badly in need of more housing affordable to local area incomes. We believe Community Housing is the answer. Rental housing developed, owned, and operated by non-profit organizations in partnership with CMHC and cities like Vancouver is the innovation we need to scale and invest in.”
“Access to affordable homes is a driver of economic self-reliance and the Aspen project is an example of how public and private partnerships can create more affordable, climate-ready and equitable neighbourhoods. Vancity is proud to partner with CMHC, Catalyst and Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency to help tackle the severe affordability crisis and housing shortages.”
- Since 2013, Catalyst Developments has been a not-for-profit real estate developer unlocking the value in real estate to create better communities.
- Through the RCFi, the Government of Canada is encouraging the construction of more than 71,000 new rental housing units.
- A stable supply of rental housing is critical to ensure that more Canadians have access to housing that meet their need and that they can afford. This is a great option for middle class Canadians who are experiencing affordability pressure in many markets with high home prices and lack of rental supply.
- Launched in April 2017, the RCFi has generated significant interest in the industry, which has led to an expansion of the program. Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada increased the total amount available in loans to $13.75 billion.
- Given the high demand for the program, the Government again expanded the RCFi in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement by adding an additional $12 billion over 7 years, starting in 2021 – 22. The program now totals $25.75 billion in low-cost loans.
- Budget 2021 proposes that $300 million over two years (2021 – 22 and 2022 – 23) from the RCFi be allocated to support the conversion of vacant commercial property into 800 units of market-based rental housing. As the demand for retail and office space has changed due to COVID, some landlords, particularly in major urban cores, are facing higher vacancies. This is an opportunity for property owners and communities to explore converting excess space into rental housing, enhancing the livability and affordability of urban communities.
- Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
- To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $2.5 billion over seven years in new funding and a reallocation of $1.3 billion in previously announced funding to speed up the construction, repair, and support over 35,000 additional housing units.
As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation