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City sells land that’s the subject of a lawsuit to developer promising affordable housing

November 26th, 2016 · 1 Comment

The city announced this week it was selling its land at 601 Beach Crescent to Pinnacle for $20 million, a promise of 152 units turned over to the city to be used for affordable housing, and no guarantee of any specific density in a planned rezoning. My story here. That is sure to be watched […]

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In the continent’s hottest housing market, Vancouver will try to create an “affordable home ownership” program

April 19th, 2016 · 10 Comments

The good folks at city hall are probably wishing someone had started the idea of an affordable home-ownership program 10 years ago, when prices were way more reasonable. At any rate, they’re going to try now by getting units in new development projects through developer community-amenity contributions and then selling them to people at below-market […]

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A new private-investment fund puts money into Canadian subsidized housing projects

November 17th, 2015 · 4 Comments

It’s been a struggle in Canada to create affordable housing since the federal government bailed out of supports for social housing under the Liberals in 1994. Their withdrawal prompted many provinces to cut back or eliminate their programs. That’s left cities, with a limited tax base, and non-profits to struggle with this on their own. […]

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Vancouver tests out what many hope will be a non-profit model for building low-cost housing

May 10th, 2013 · 7 Comments

After being stung by four years of criticism about its giveaways to developers to create rental, Vision Vancouver politicians (oops, of course, I should say, “staff”) have decided to test a new model for building rental apartments. The city will give four pieces of land to a consortium of non-profit housing groups and the B.C. […]

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Catching up: West End Neighbours score a victory, compile bible of planning info

September 7th, 2010 · 10 Comments

As many know, Mayor Gregor Robertson announced last week that the city would hold off on proceeding for the moment with one of the tower applications for the West End. The community group that has been doggedly campaigning for a change to the city program that led to this tower application gave it cautious approval […]

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Woodward’s developer tries new experiment in affordable housing

July 26th, 2010 · 36 Comments

Developer Ian Gillespie and architect Gregory Henriquez are partnering with Vancity and Habitat for Humanity to build a project that is affordable to people with incomes in the $26,000-$36,000 range, as I detail in my Globe story today. This is sure to set off another interesting debate about affordability (what is it, what does it […]

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West End Neighbours continues its pressure on Vision Vancouver

June 16th, 2010 · 44 Comments

In the last election, Non-Partisan Association organizers were dismayed at their reception in the West End during the campaign. “We gave up phoning because there was no point,” said one. The renters there hated the NPA for not doing more to protect the neighbourhood’s rental buildings, which felt like they were under attack from owners […]

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Affordable, sustainable housing — West Van style

May 14th, 2010 · 1 Comment

There isn’t a growing community in North America that isn’t at least a little bit concerned about how to create lower-cost housing and how to create denser communities with less environmental impact. Even so, it will probably surprise some to hear that West Van is one of those communities. The city has negotiated with British […]

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A new idea for affordable housing: shipping containers

April 13th, 2010 · 31 Comments

For those who haven’t spotted it, The Tyee and Monte Paulsen have an interesting series starting on affordable housing. The series looks at how shipping containers, which are ubiquitous around the world, can be used for housing. I admire them for taking on this topic. And I’ve seen shipping containers used ingeniously in a few […]

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Vancouver tries to kickstart rental housing

June 16th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Many cities have complained about the lack of rental apartments being built. Few have done anything. That’s largely because it’s been seen as beyond the financial ability of cities to start subsidizing something as expensive as housing. But Vancouver is going to give it a try, as I outline in my Globe story here.

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