Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Thanks to investments made by the Government of Canada, and land provided by the City of Vancouver, residents of Vancouver will now have access to more stable rental housing options.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), alongside The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South and Minister of National Defence, announced a $39.8 million low-cost loan to help construct “Alder”, a new residential building located at 3625 Sawmill Cres., in Southeast Vancouver.
The “Alder” by Catalyst Community Developments Society is a 5-storey residential building that will provide Vancouver with 119 new units of much needed rental housing, ranging from studios, one, two, and three-bedroom units. Of these, 36 units will have rents subject to meeting BC Housing’s Housing Income Limits (HILs) and further 23 units will be earmarked affordable with rents at or below 24% of Vancouver’s median household income. In addition, there will be one floor of underground parking with 76 spaces, a locker storage, and several bicycle storage areas. The project 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.
The project 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 new investments like this one by Catalyst Community Developments Society, our government is taking action to not only increase the supply of new rental developments, but to also provide housing options that are closer to jobs, services and amenities that middle-class families in Vancouver need.”
“We know that everyone in British Columbia, and across Canada, deserves adequate and affordable housing. Today, our government’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi) is helping Vancouver South increase its supply of new rental developments. When it is complete, this project at 3625 Sawmill Crescent will offer new housing options for families and individuals which are even closer to good jobs, services and amenities in this growing corner of our Vancouver South community.”
“Working families in Vancouver are counting on partnerships to deliver the housing they need to stay in our city. Thanks to innovative financing from the Government of Canada and $7.8 million in land from the City of Vancouver, our partnership with Catalyst Community Developments Society will create 119 homes with deeply affordable rents that help more of our neighbours stay close to the people and places they love.”
“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.”
- The vacancy rate in Vancouver is at 2.6% (October 2020).
- 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.
Information on this news release:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Rendering of “Alder” by Catalyst Community Developments Society