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Port Moody on target to meet first year of housing targets — after that, uncertainty abounds

A report to Port Moody council says 255 new homes have achieved occupancy in the city since last September, with more anticipated.
Port Moody says it's on target to meet its goals for new housing in the first year of a five-year mandate to boost its housing supply.

Port Moody is on pace to achieve the first-year housing targets set in a five-year plan imposed by the provincial government to boost the supply of homes in the city.

But after that, the outlook gets a little fuzzy.

In a report to be presented to council on Tuesday, May 14, social planner Liam McLellan said since Port Moody’s housing targets were established by the province’s Housing Supply Act in September 2023, to March 2024, 255 new homes in the city have received occupancy.

And while 47 homes were vacated as part of the massive redevelopment of the old Coronation Park neighbourhood, the net total of 208 puts Port Moody in a good position to reach the minimum target of 231 new homes by October 2024 once the first phase of a project by Bold Properties at 2002 St. George St. is completed sometime this summer.

Depending on the number of homes lost elsewhere in the city, its 104 strata units should put Port Moody well beyond the minimum target and in range of the full goal of 260 new homes by Oct. 1.

Another 58 units in the Bold project are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of the year.

McLellan said if additional projects by Marcon, which is building a 222-unit condo complex at the site of the old Barnet Hotel on St. Johns Street, and an 88-unit complex by developer Dulex Lailder on James Road, are completed by September 2025, the city should also achieve its second-year target of at least 499 new homes.

Beyond that, McLellan said Port Moody currently has approved development applications for 16 projects, comprising approximately 3,747 new homes.

But when all those will get built is uncertain.

The provincial legislation mandates the city have at least 1,694 new homes occupied by September 2028.

MacLellan said the actual number of units for the second phase of the redevelopment of the old Andrés Wine site by Andrew Peller Ltd. is still unknown so some of the total is an estimate based on approved residential square footage.

Other projects that received approvals as far back as 2021 still haven’t applied for building permits and some still in the planning stage likely wouldn’t be completed by 2028 anyway.

MacLellan said Port Moody also has to step up its affordability game if it’s to achieve the minimum target of 238 new below-market rental apartments and at least 30 supportive rental units by the end of the five-year period. He said only 149 below-market and 75 non market rental apartments are currently in the planning process.

“Staff will be working on strategies to close the gap between proposed and needed below-market rental housing,” MacLellan said.

When the provincial government brought in its Housing Supply Act, Port Moody was identified as one of the first 10 cities in British Columbia that hadn’t been pulling its weight to construct new homes to address the ongoing housing crisis.

Mayor Meghan Lahti said the city is doing everything it can to attain the province’s expectations through its own housing action plan, but it also needs help from other levels of government to create policies and funding to encourage the construction of more supportive housing as well as ensure there’s enough skilled tradespeople and building supplies to get the work done.

Lahti said Port Moody also wouldn’t compromise on its intentions to build a community that’s resilient, connected, vibrant and affordable, with a proper amount of amenities and services.

“While we do need to ensure that we are mindful of the provincial mandate, we still have to predicate all of our decisions based on what is in the best interest of our community as a whole,” she said.