The City of Vancouver grants many incentives for developers of “for-profit affordable rental housing”.
It’s a policy that started during the time of then Mayor Gregor Robertson and his Vision Vancouver council.
The program continues with the current council led by Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
City incentives include waivers on the payment of development cost levies or DCLs, which typically amount to millions of dollars.
To be exempted from paying DCLs, the starting rents should not exceed rates set by the city based on average rents for all residential units built in Vancouver since 2005.
For those on the West Side of the city, the rents are set higher by 10 percent compared to the East Side.
A city staff report on a rezoning application provides an update on what West Side rates now qualify as “for-profit affordable rental housing”.
Marcon Properties Ltd. filed the application on behalf of W 42 Properties E Nominee Corp. to rezone 277-291 West 42nd Avenue.
The development involves an 18-storey residential building with 211 rental units.
The staff report listed the maximum starting rents for West Side rentals that could qualify for a DCL waiver.
For three-bedroom units, that would be $4,094.
For two bedrooms, it’s $2,912; one bedroom, $2,224; and studio, $1,818.
The Marcon Properties project includes only two-bedroom, one-bedroom, and studio units.
The staff report indicated that the applicant has not applied for a DCL waiver, but can do so at a later time.
“If the DCL waiver is taken, the value of the City-wide DCL waiver on the residential floor area would be approximately $2,357,903,” the staff report stated.
The rezoning application is included in the public hearing agenda of city council on Thursday (March 3).