First Nations homes included in Vancouver housing project at River District

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      Vancouver’s River District will have a place for Indigenous residents.

      A housing project in the emerging neighbourhood will dedicate half of the planned 337 units to Aboriginal dwellers. The homes will be managed by the M’akola Housing Society, a Victoria-based organization that describes itself as the biggest provider of affordable housing for Indigenous people in the province.

      M’akola is working with the Community Land Trust (CLT), a social-purpose real-estate developer and steward created by the Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C.

      The remaining half will be run as co-op housing. The plan involves one 26-storey tower and a six-level building.

      The development site is at 3338 Sawmill Crescent (formerly known as 3310 Marine Way), and the parcel is one of seven City of Vancouver–owned properties for which CLT was selected in 2018 as developer of affordable housing.

      In addition to 3338 Sawmill, the sites include a second River District location at 3183 and 3245 Pierview Crescent. For both sites, the city had specified that at least 30 percent of the dwelling units should be rented out at below-market rates, based on 2017 housing-income limits published by B.C. Housing.

      The city enumerated the following monthly rates: studio, $1,000; one bedroom, $1,125; two bedrooms, $1,388; and three bedrooms, $1,663.

      The River District is a 51-hectare locality bordered by Kerr Street, Boundary Road, Southeast Marine Drive, and the Fraser River.

      Formerly the home of the Canadian White Pine mill, the spot is now mostly owned by Wesgroup Properties (formerly Parklane Homes).

      The development plan for 3338 Sawmill is included in the agenda of the city’s Urban Design Panel meeting on Wednesday (June 26).