On July 31, city council will hold a public hearing on a rezoning application for a rental project in East Vancouver.
According to city staff, the proposed 40-unit development at 3070 Kingsway meets Vancouver’s objective of providing "affordable" rental housing.
Rents will start at $1,496 for a studio; $1,730, one bedroom; $2,505, two bedrooms; and $3,365, three bedrooms.
The rents will apply beginning on the day of the public hearing. During construction, the developer can increase rents based on the allowed rates set under B.C. provincial tenancy law.
A city staff report noted that the proposed rents for studio units at 3070 Kingsway are lower than the average rent for studios in newer buildings on the east side of the city, which is $1,531.
However, the report also indicated the proposed rents for two bedrooms and three bedrooms at the development are higher than average rents for the same comparable units in newer buildings.
The report noted that buildings completed in East Vancouver in 2008 and later years offer average rents of $1,689 and $2,284, which are lower than the $2,505 and $3,365 starting rents for two bedrooms and three bedrooms at 3070 Kingsway.
The figures for average rents are from the October 2017 rental market survey of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The rezoning application for 3070 Kingway was made under the City of Vancouver’s Secured Market Rental Housing Policy.
Also known as Rental 100, the policy provides incentives for new developments where 100 percent of housing units are for rental.
The Rental 100 policy was approved by city council in 2012, succeeding a similar program that started in 2009, which is the Short Term Incentives for Rental or STIR.
Rental 100 and STIR are marquee programs of the ruling Vision Vancouver party of Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“If approved, the application would contribute 40 for-profit affordable rental housing units towards achieving the City’s affordable housing goals as identified in the Housing Vancouver Strategy,” Karen Hoese, acting assistant director for downtown of the city's planning, urban design and sustainability, wrote in her report.
According to Hoese, the Rental 100 program helps make rental projects viable through incentives.
“These incentives, where the units qualify as secured for-profit affordable rental housing, include increased height and density, parking reductions and a Development Cost Levy (DCL) waiver,” Hoese reported. “Housing staff have evaluated this application and have determined that it meets the objectives of the Rental 100 program.”
The rezoning application was filed by Conwest Ventures Ltd. on behalf of 3070 Kingsway Inc.
The proposed development is a six-storey building with commercial spaces on ground level, and rental units on upper floors. There will be three townhouses at the lane.