March 2, 2018 5:41 pm
Updated: March 2, 2018 11:32 pm

BC NDP government breaks ground on its first affordable rental unit project

The NDP government is breaking ground on an affordable housing project, but at least one advocacy group is asking if it's nearly enough. Nadia Stewart reports.

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With shovels in hand, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and B.C. Housing Minister Selina Robinson have officially broken ground on a new affordable housing complex near Vancouver General Hospital.

The project will see 86 aging units replaced by 230 affordable homes, with 70 units set to be completed by the end of 2018.

Heather Place, a townhouse development that is being replaced with 230 rental housing units.

B.C. Government

“We need to ensure that there are affordable places for people to live,” said Robinson. “When people have access to safe and affordable housing they can focus on building the lives they want for for their families.”

Heather Place, which is being built at 725-799 West 14 Ave, is the first project to move forward as part of the province’s goal to build 1,700 affordable rental-housing units over the next four years.

WATCH HERE: More renters forced out by soaring rents

Families will be given priority on the units; so will seniors and people with disabilities.

Phase one will include 67 homes of varying sizes, from studios to three-bedroom homes. Thirty of the homes will range in price from $380 to $1,100 based on different financial supports.

The rent will start at $1,500 a month for those who don’t qualify for any of the subsidies.

 

A rendering of the Heather Place redevelopment.

B.C. Government

“This is the type of housing supply Vancouver needs – rental homes for people who live and work locally. The city is dramatically boosting the right supply of homes for individuals and families who want to put down roots in our city, but we can’t do it on our own,” said Robertson.

“We know we have a crisis across the whole region, the whole province after many years of ignoring the problem at a provincial level we have a province wide crisis of homelessness and affordability.”

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver landlords wield tenancy laws more often than their renters do: study

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