Vancouver city staff have recommended approval by council of two East Side rental housing developments.
One is a six-storey building at 855 Kingsway, and the other is a four-storey building at 4459 Rupert Street.
Both rezoning applications were made under the council-approved Secured Market Rental Housing Policy (Rental 100), which supports the development of “for-profit affordable rental housing” through various incentives.
At 855 Kingsway, the ground floor will be devoted to commercial uses, and the upper floors for 50 rental units.
The starting rent for a studio in this project is $1,385 per month. The rate for a one-bedroom is $1,638; two bedrooms, $2,459; and a three-bedroom, $3,109.
“If approved, this application would make a significant contribution to the achievement of key affordable housing goals of the City,” according to a city staff report on the 855 Kingsway application.
These rates will apply at the time of the public hearing if the proposal is approved. From then on, the developer can raise rates every year based on the maximum rate allowed under the Residential Tenancy Act. This means that the first occupants will pay higher than the identified rates.
“When compared to average rents in newer buildings in the east area of Vancouver, the proposed rents are lower for studio and one-bedroom units,” according to the staff report.
“In terms of the comparison to home ownership costs, the proposed rents in this application will provide an affordable alternative to homeownership, particularly for the larger units,” the report continued.
In addition to a higher building height and more floor space, the developer is also requesting a waiver for around $563,070 in development cost levies for the residential portion of the project.
Over at 4459 Rupert Street, the proposed four-storey building will have commercial spaces on ground level and 12 “for-profit affordable rental housing units” on the upper floors.
A one-bedroom unit will have a starting rent, from the time of the public hearing and subject to further increases, of $1,642 per month. A two-bedroom unit’s starting rent is $2,333.
“If approved, the application would contribute 12 secured for-profit affordable rental housing units to the City’s affordable housing goals as identified in the Housing Vancouver Strategy,” according to a staff report for 4459 Rupert Street.
The report also noted that the proposed rents are lower for one-bedroom units than those in “newer buildings in the east area of Vancouver”.
“In terms of the comparison to home ownership costs, the proposed rents in this application will provide an affordable alternative to homeownership, particularly for the larger units,” the report stated.
The developer requested a waiver of the development cost level related to the residential portion of the project, which amounts to around $144,040.
The rezoning applications for the two projects are included in the public-hearing agenda of council on Tuesday (June 5).