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New Port Coquitlam housing project will offer 'deep' cuts on cost of rent

Metro Vancouver is developing 63 units of housing on Welcher Street that will offer a significant subsidy to qualifying renters
Metro Vancouver is hoping the city of Port Coquitlam will approve a variance
Metro Vancouver is hoping the city of Port Coquitlam will approve a variance adding another storey for 12 more units of housing to this Welcher Street project.

Metro Vancouver is fast-tracking an application for a new rental housing project in Port Coquitlam to make it even more affordable for families.

The project in the 2400 block of Welcher Avenue in the city’s downtown would see two single family homes and a vacant lot redeveloped into a five-storey affordable rental apartment building with 63 homes.

“Homes will support a diverse mix of families, couples, singles, and seniors with a mix of incomes,” noted a report to the Metro Van’s housing committee.

Plans have already been submitted to PoCo city hall to approve a variance, which would allow the building to be five storeys instead of four, permitting another 12 homes, which will support “the growing need for affordable housing in the city.”

The homes will be energy efficient, with efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% compared to a baseline project, as well as meet a variety of housing needs, from seniors to families, with 10% wheel chair accessible units, among other adaptations.

There will be a community garden, a shared kitchen, outdoor plaza and seating, as well as landscaping.

To be able to make the units more affordable, Metro Vancouver will be applying to the BC Housing Community Housing Fund for forgivable loans of between $75,000 - $150,000 per unit as well a potential ongoing operating subsidy. 

The program requires a 60-year operating agreement and rents would be reduced significantly. For example, 20% of units would be rented at a deep subsidy, 50% of units rented at or below BC Housing’s Household Income Limits and 30% of units rented at the low end of market.

To get the funding for the deeper discounts for renters, the application needs to be construction-ready and be submitted before Sept. 4.

Metro Vancouver will also apply to CMHC for funding for the project.