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Vancouver works out its first deal for below-market rentals in a private development

March 17th, 2016 · 4 Comments

City council has taken a lot of flak for negotiating deals with developers to do all-rental buildings but letting them charge market, i.e. going-rate rents.

Now, with this new Concert Properties building going up next to the Olympic Village, the city has negotiated a deal that means it gets 135 units in the 600-unit development and it will ensure that at least 40 per cent of the units are below market. Story here.

I asked the city’s housing officer, Mukhtar Latif, why the city can’t do that in the Rental 100 buildings. He said that there isn’t the same kind of land lift in those developments. The city can get an agreement that they’ll be rental by reducing fees and parking requirements and adding some density. But not an agreement to hold the rents to below market.

I’m told the rents for the 40 per cent segment will be $915 for a studio and $1,480 for a three-bedroom for people with qualifying incomes, i.e. below $56,000. (I know those numbers are different from others reported out of a news conference but that’s what was in the chart sent to me later.)

Then the other units will be held to rates for the average in the area, so $900 to $2,000 in the same spread. One of my Twitter commenters expressed disbelief that anyone could find any three-bedroom in the city for $2,000, but that’s what they told me, folks. We’ll see when the building is finished in mid-2018 — just in the for the election campaign!!

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