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The City of Vancouver under Mayor Gregor Robertson has adopted “Rental 100″as part of the Vision platform to provide rental housing. What this does is give developers higher buildings and densities if they build rental housing. Developers can also get away with not paying the development cost levies which do provide funding for parks, daycares, social and non-profit housing and engineering infrastructure, like sewers and water.
As Carlito Pablo writes in the Georgia Straight  this rental incentive program was seen as a key to housing and homelessness by strategizing for  “secured rental housing“. But is it affordable? The Council report on 1812 Cook Street near Olympic Village  proposes rental units be leased at $1,496 a month for a studio, $1,922 a month for a one bedroom, $2,539 for a two bedroom and $3,333 for a three-bedroom. As the Council report states “When compared to average rents in newer buildings in the westside of Vancouver, the proposed rents are equivalent. In terms of the comparison to home ownership costs, the proposed rents in this application will provide an affordable alternative to homeownership, particularly for the larger units.”
To produce 104 rental units City staff is prepared to forget the 2.1 million dollar Development Cost Levy that would normally be associated with a project of this size. The Council report  also includes the  table below to illustrate the proposed rent, the average market rent on the west side, the average rent that would be paid if the housing was provided through the Development Cost Levy, and the “clanger slide” what the monthly cost of  actually buying that unit would be.

1715 Cook Street Proposed Rents
Average Market Rent in Newer Buildings –
Westside 1 (CMHC, 2016)
DCL By-Law Maximum Averages – Westside (CMHC, 2016)2
Monthly Costs of Ownership for Median- Priced Unit – Westside (BC Assessment 2016)3
studio
$1,496
$1,480
$1,496
$2,088
1-bed
$1,922
$1,828
$1,922
$2,762
2-bed
$2,539
$2,320
$2,539
$4,494
3-bed
$3,333
$3,333
$8,092

 
The report also states “Rental 100 units are targeted to moderate income households and the program extends throughout all parts of the city, thereby providing options that are more affordable than home ownership” and contribute to a “diverse and sustainable community“. The proposed rezoning will go to public hearing on December 12th.
infographic_what-is-affordable-housing