Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Thanks to investments made by the Government of Canada and partners, residents of Coquitlam 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 Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre, announced a $109 million low-cost loan to help construct a 308-unit, new residential rental tower located at 551 Emerson St, Coquitlam, BC. This funding is provided through the federal government’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.
Developed by Concert, the 31-storey residential tower is part of a new master-plan community currently under construction that will include a YMCA Community Centre, community police station, strata building, and park as well as other community amenities. The project is transit-focused and located just 150 metres away from the Burquitlam Station on the Evergreen Line Extension of the SkyTrain.
Rick Glumac, MLA for Port – Moody – Coquitlam, was also in attendance to announce BC Housing’s $10.6 million contribution through the Community Housing Fund, which will fund the 43 Housing Society’s purchase of 100 units within the tower. The funding will ensure these units have affordable rents for households with low to moderate incomes for at least 60 years from first occupancy. BC Housing will also provide annual operating funding for these 100 homes. Richard Stewart, Mayor of Coquitlam, announced a contribution of a $3.85 million grant to 43 Housing Society.
The Government of Canada is working with partners to ensure a range of affordability will be provided for these non-market rents, including homes dedicated to households on income assistance, rent geared to income and at the low end of market. Thirty-one dedicated, accessible homes and two adaptable homes will be delivered for those with mobility and/or physical challenges.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why, through this investment in Coquitlam and others just like it, 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 Coquitlam need. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”
“We all know that everyone in our region, and across Canada, deserves adequate and affordable housing. Today, our government’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi) is helping cities in the Lower Mainland like Coquitlam increase its supply of new rental developments. When it is complete, this development will offer fresh housing options for families and individuals which are even closer to good jobs, services and amenities in the community.”
“This new project is welcome news for families and seniors in Coquitlam who are being forced to look at housing outside of their community due to a tight rental market. With these new homes, people with a wide range of incomes will have access to homes with monthly rents they can afford so they can stay close to friends and family.”
“Coquitlam is proud to be a regional leader in the provision of rental and affordable rental housing through our innovative Housing Affordability Strategy. And one of the cornerstones of that Strategy is the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, which leverages development funding towards affordable housing projects – such as this one. It is only through all levels of government working together with developers and the non-profit sector that we will truly see solutions to the housing challenges in the Metro Vancouver region.”
“Continuing our over 30 year history of delivering and managing rental housing in the Lower Mainland, we’re very pleased to partner with all three levels of government and 43 Housing Society to deliver affordable rental homes in the heart of this inclusive, sustainable new master-planned community in Coquitlam, BC.”
“This project is an example of the fabulous outcomes we can achieve when all levels of government, the charitable sector and for-profit businesses work together to address the current housing crisis. This project will make a massive difference in lives of so many, and 43 Housing Society is looking forward to welcoming our newest residents’ home.”
- The 31-storey rental tower will be the most energy efficient residential tower in Coquitlam, built to the Step 3 standard. Step 3 reflects substantive energy reductions for residential buildings as described in the BC Energy Step Code at https://energystepcode.ca/how-it-works/
- The building is expected to be completed by Spring 2023.
- As of October 2020, the vacancy rate in Coquitlam was at 2.2%.
- 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.
- Concert has delivered nearly 12,000 rental, condominium and senior homes across Canada, and will have delivered the largest single injection of rental housing into Greater Vancouver once the Burquitlam Park and nearby Cottonwood master-plan communities are completed
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.
43 Housing Society, and our sister society, SHARE Family & Community Services Society, serve over 22,000 individuals each year across the Lower Mainland, and currently provide 288 affordable, safe and secure homes to residents of the TriCities. We support individuals during times of vulnerability, through services including the local Food Bank, mental health and addictions supports, services for children and youth with special needs, supports for seniors, services for newcomers, and more. To find out more about 43 Housing and SHARE, visit www.sharesociety.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Since 1989, Concert has proudly developed, acquired and managed Canadian real estate in pursuit of building a people-first future. With over $7 billion in assets, we are backed and owned by over 200,000 Canadians, represented by union and management pension plans. We deliver rental apartments, condominiums, seniors' active aging communities, industrial and commercial properties, and public infrastructure projects, and in each business, our vision remains the same: building resilient, inclusive, sustainable communities. See more at www.concertproperties.com.
Information on this news release:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Rendering of the Concert Residential Tower at 551 Emerson St in Coquitlam, BC