Rents through the roof: City of Vancouver 2019 guidelines say $2,056 for one bed is affordable

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      The City of Vancouver has released new guidelines on what it considers “affordable” rents for 2019.

      The figures are contained in an updated bulletin on the exemption of developers from paying development cost levies.

      For studio and one-bedroom units, the city increased the rental amounts it deems “affordable” for this year.

      For studio units on the East Side, it’s $1,607 per month. That’s a 7.4 percent raise over the 2018 threshold set by the city at $1,496.

      For one-bedroom rentals on the same side of Vancouver, a rent of $1,869 is now regarded as affordable. That’s a jump of eight percent from the 2018 figure of $1,730.

      Rents judged as affordable on the West Side are higher.

      For studios on the West Side, it’s $1,768 a month. That’s a 7.4 addition over last year’s $1,646.

      For one bedroom accommodations, $2,056 is affordable rent, based on the 2019 guidelines. The new figure is an eight percent increase from the 2018 figure set by the city at $1,903 percent.

      These rental amounts start to apply at the day of the public hearing for “for-profit affordable rental housing” projects.

      Until the developments are finished and ready for occupancy, the developer can increase rents yearly.

      Also, the actual starting rents apply only to the first occupants. After the original tenants leave, the landlord can charge any rent.

      These developments are done under Rental 100, a program that provides incentives for market rental projects, including extra density and relaxation of unit sizing and parking requirements.

      While the city increased thresholds for studio and one-bedroom units, it lowered amounts for two- and three-bedroom units.

      For two bedrooms on the East Side, $2,456 per month is deemed affordable for 2019. That’s 1.9 percent lower than the 2018 figure of $2,505.

      For three bedrooms, $3,235 is affordable. The amount is four percent below last year’s $3,365.

      On the West Side of the city, a $2,703 monthly rent for two bedrooms is affordable. That’s 1.9 percent lower than the $2,756 threshold set by city hall for 2018.

      For three-bedroom rentals on the West Side, $3,559 is affordable for 2019, based on the city’s standards. That’s four percent lower than last year’s $3,702.