On Wednesday, the Province of British Columbia announced that it, through BC Housing, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Metro Vancouver to build approximately 2,000 new affordable homes across the region over the next 10 years.
“The new units created through this partnership with Metro Vancouver will help create more affordable, sustainable and safer communities,” said Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon on Wednesday. “We will continue to work with our partners to build safe and affordable housing that enables people thrive.”
The Province did not provide a full outline of the MOU which, notably, is not legally binding, according to the Government of Canada — it’s essentially just a handshake agreement. The agreement between BC Housing and Metro Vancouver is set to be carried out in phases, with the first phase delivering approximately 660 homes across five sites.
The Province says that the five chosen locations are “priority sites” identified by Metro Vancouver. These initial projects will be supported with a provincial investment of $158M over the next three years, with funding for subsequent phases and projects to be announced at a later date.
Through the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, Metro Vancouver is contributing the land, which is valued at over $217M over the 10 years. The federation is also working towards securing federal funding.
The first phase’s five sites are as follows:
This site is located just one block south from Vancouver General Hospital, and will be called Heather Place B, as it is the second phase of the redevelopment of Heather Place. Heather Place A opened in July 2020 with 67 units, according to Metro Vancouver, and Heather Place B will add another 87 units.
This project in Burnaby will see the Eastburn Square complex of 30 townhouses — originally built in 1984 according to BC Assessment — redeveloped into a low-rise building called The Connection, with 170 units that will focus on accessibility and include an in-building daycare.
Also in Burnaby, this project will see a vacant City-owned site, about 51,000 sq. ft in size, according to BC Assessment, leased to Metro Vancouver in order to develop a building called The Stellar, which will have 120 affordable housing units for families, seniors, and people with disabilities, as well as a non-profit childcare centre.
This project in Pitt Meadows will be called Heron’s Nest — an iconic symbol in Pitt Meadows — and will see the site developed into non-market rental housing that will serve families, seniors, and people with disabilities. It will also include a non-profit childcare facility. The project is a partnership with the City of Pitt Meadows, which owns the site.
Not as many details are known about this project, but the site is currently a community of 67 townhouses called Malaspina Village that was originally built in 1982. The site, measuring approximately 4.4 acres according to BC Assessment, is also directly across the street from the site of the new nine-building Stratford Wynd Master Plan that was proposed earlier this month.
Howard is a Staff Writer at STOREYS. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has also written about media for One Zero and international politics for WhoWhatWhy. Before STOREYS, he was also the Deputy Editor of 604 Now.