Vancouver rental for earners of more than $72 per hour vouched for city subsidy as affordable housing

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      A proposed rental project in East Vancouver may likely get a taxpayer subsidy of more than half-a-million dollars.

      The reason for this is that based on city standards, the development meets the definition of “for-profit affordable rental housing”.

      This means that the project at 1535-1557 Grant Street will be exempt from paying development cost levies, or DCLs, to the city.

      Starting rents are set to apply on the day council holds a public hearing for the rezoning application filed in connection with the rental project.

      For a three-bedroom unit, rents start at $3,235.

      As a city staff report for the project notes, affordable housing, as defined by Statistics Canada, is shelter cost equal to less than 30 percent of total before-tax household income.

      So for a three-bedroom unit with a starting rent of $3,235, the report noted that it is affordable for those earning $125,000 to $149,999 per year.

      A yearly income of $149,999 translates to an hourly wage of $72.11.

      The minimum income in B.C. is $13.85 an hour, or a 19 percent fraction of $72.11.

      For two-bedroom units, rents at the development start at $2,457. This is deemed affordable for those earning between $90,000 and $99,999 per year.

      An annual income of $99,999 translates to $48 per hour.

      For one bedroom units, rents start at $1,869 per month.

      According to the city staff report, a $1,869 rent is affordable to people earning from $70,000 to $79,999 per year.

      A yearly income of $79,999 translates to an hourly wage of $33.65 per hour.

      The province’s minimum wage of $13.85 is 41 percent of $33.65.

      The value of the DCL waiver for the project is around $663,597.

      City planners have recommended to council a public hearing for the 1535-1557 Grant Street rezoning application.