Officials were on hand this morning (April 12) to deliver nearly $8 million in provincial funding toward a $36.1-million affordable housing project in Port Coquitlam.
The occasion was to announce a 10-year partnership agreement between the B.C. government and Metro Vancouver's housing arm to build 2,000 homes.
As many as five projects have been earmarked for a provincial investment of $158 million over the next three years, with more cash to come later when more sites are identified, while Metro Vancouver will contribute land and cash equity valued at more than $217 million over the next decade.
Coquitlam housing to be expanded, too
"We need more housing to be built," B.C. housing minister Ravi Kahlon said, pointing out how the Salal Landing project is being built close to Riverside Secondary and Gates Park.
Kahlon said housing needs to be built "faster" as the province "welcomes" immigrants under expanded federal targets.
Among the notable recipients of the new partnership agreement is a Metro Vancouver affordable housing project located at 1144 Inlet St. in Coquitlam, called Malaspina Village.
No funds or details were provided for adding to the community of two and three bedroom townhouses, which is operated by Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation.
Four other projects were also identified for more affordable housing under the long-term partnership agreement, they include:
- 788 West 13th Ave., Vancouver
- 7730-6th St. Burnaby
- 7388 Southwynde Ave., Burnaby
- 19085-119B Ave., Pitt Meadows
Housing for a diverse mix of families
Mayor Brad West said the Salal Landing homes will benefit a diverse mix of families, couples and seniors and said "secure housing" is critical for family well-being and stability.
Noting the proximity of the homes to "parks and trails," Salal Landing is a good place to raise a family, West said.
The 63 units include a mix of studio, one, two and three bedroom homes. All homes will be accessible or meet universal design standards to support people living with disabilities, which will help seniors age in place.
A portion of the units will be tied to income and another portion will be rented at "low end of market" rates, or about 10 to 20 per cent less than market, according to Heather McNell, deputy CAO at Metro Vancouver.
Registration for applications will be available closer to completion next spring, either through BC Housing or the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation.
To get the project built, Metro Vancouver provided the land, valued at $7 million, cash equity of up to $5 million and a grant of $160,000.
The City of Port Coquitlam is providing waiver fees and additional grants totalling $1.2 million.
The development will be called Salal Landing, honouring the native plant that grows in coastal areas of British Columbia.
In addition to affordable housing units, Salal Landing will provide private balconies and patios, a children’s play area and community gardens with a potting shed for the residents.
Coun. Glenn Pollock, who attended the conference, said the Lower Mainland needs more affordable housing, including in Port Coquitlam, but the challenge is to find a site.
He urged cities, the province and the federal government to work together to find solutions, noting that the federal government should be at the table because it sets immigration targets.
"We can't let our feet off the gas," said Pollock, "We need to find partners to do this."