Vancouver proposes 20 new sites to generate 3,500 affordable units, 9,000 jobs — starting now

Older West End condos could be vulnerable to redevelopment under new strata rules.

Vancouver has put 20 city sites up for affordable housing development.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson heads to Ottawa today with a list of 20 city-owned sites available for affordable housing,  enough to generate 3,500 units and 9,000 jobs.

It’s Vancouver’s answer to Ottawa’s call for proposals to build social and affordable housing with new infrastructure funding. Toronto and Montreal, as well as other cities, are lining up their offers, too.

Thanks to planning work by the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, work on 500 units could begin this year.

As the Globe notes, “Mr. Robertson and his Vision Vancouver party have aggressively worked to increase the amount of shelter space and social housing since first being elected in 2008.

“Many Vancouver city councils over the years have encouraged the province to invest by providing sites. But Mr. Robertson’s council has gone beyond that recently by buying some hotels outright to be used for housing.

“As well, three years ago, it contributed $22-million worth of land on four sites for an innovative project being undertaken by a group of nonprofits and co-ops that are about to start construction on 355 units of housing.”

One worrisome note: so far, BC Housing Minister Rich Coleman has declined to comment on whether or not the province would support this Vancouver proposal.