Vancouver programs generating half of all new rental in Metro, protecting critical lower-cost housing stock

rentVancouver’s Housing Action Plan has delivered almost half of all new rentals in Metro Vancouver, council learned today, and is ensuring that more than 35 percent of the city’s housing stock is affordable to families on low and middle incomes.

Good enough? Not by a long shot, given the insanity of the housing market, but the city’s latest housing report card show how much can be done, particularly with the city prepared to invest more than $600 million to build solutions.

Five years into the plan, the city has approved 5,119 rental units, double the goal of 2,500. (During the same period, Burnaby had a net loss of more than 400 units because it has no rental protection bylaw.)

Overall, more than 12,000 new lower-cost homes have been completed, are under construction or have been approved.

But the city’s efforts to build more social and supportive housing are falling behind, despite a very significant city contribution of land, because of poor or non-existent provincial and federal programs. Despite the partnership with Victoria that has seen more than 1,000 supportive housing units built on city land, hundreds more units are needed.

Clearly, though, the city is making difference in the rental market, increasing the city’s rental stock by 10 percent. That’s making a difference, although vacancy rates remain vanishingly low.