A purpose-built rental block that’s going up in Coquitlam’s City Centre neighbourhood will have three times more affordable units than its predecessor.
Last month, city council unanimously gave fourth and final readings to rezone 3100 Ozada Ave. (Pinetree Court) for a six-storey apartment complex that will have 164 non-market homes.
Previously, the building had 57 non-market rental units.
According to a city report that came before the July 26 council meeting, the proposal by the Affordable Housing Advisory Association calls for 65 one-bedroom, 69 two-bedroom and 30 three-bedroom units in the wood-framed structure.
Of those, 74 suites will be funded by BC Housing — at a cost of $7.4 million — to mix the affordability rates: 15 suites will be at shelter rates, 37 at rent-geared-to-income and 22 will be at the low end of market rental rates based on CMHC average rents for the neighbourhood, wrote Andrew Merrill, Coquitlam’s director of development services, in his report.
The other 90 units will be non-market rental units.
$3.3M FROM THE CITY
In turn, the association that’s maintaining and operating the building will get $3.3 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund; however, the municipality will get $1.5 million in development cost charges to pay for future infrastructure.
The project, which went to public hearing last September, also received a development permit on July 26.
Coun. Dennis Marsden described the proposal as “spectacular” but voiced concern about its lack of federal funding (Merrill said CMHC funding typically isn’t considered until after the development permit is approved).
And Mayor Richard Stewart congratulated the association for its work.
“I think this is an incredibly valuable project because we have a whole bunch of these older rental projects in Coquitlam that need to be replaced and they need to be upgraded and made more energy-efficient,” he said. “That said, there’s a bunch of people in our community who would have said this is perfectly good housing that they’ve torn down.”
“It wasn’t and it needed to be replaced,” the mayor said pointedly, adding that council has “to make sure we’re constantly upgrading our housing stock and not counting on degradation to produce affordability because degradation isn’t affordable — it’s just low priced.”