Vancouver aims to protect and expand co-ops on city-owned land

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

The Mayor of Vancouver says he is committed to protecting and expanding co-ops

Steve Randall
Mortgage Broker News

The Mayor of Vancouver says he is committed to protecting and expanding co-ops on city-owned land, a popular housing option over the past 40 years.

Kennedy Stewart is asking for feedback on the best way to renew leases to ensure stability for residents and optimize the provision of affordable housing in the city.

“Over the last 40 years, co-ops on City-owned land have provided a vital source of affordable housing and I am committed to not only preserving the existing co-ops but expanding on them with the help of the federal government,” the mayor said.

The City has produced a paper detailing four potential lease renewal scenarios that address the concerns of the co-ops. The scenarios aim to ensure that residents do not pay more than 30% of their income on housing costs.

“The lack of affordable housing in our city continues to be a critical challenge and the scenarios proposed would allow the City to both protect existing homes and generate funding for more stable, high quality and affordable units for people in need,” added Sandra Singh, General Manager of Arts, Culture and Community Services.

The four scenarios

  • Basic renewal: A co-op pays the City a ground rent linked to Vancouver incomes on an annual basis with limited reporting requirements. 
  • Renewal with additional grant: Similar to the basic renewal scenario but the co-op provides more in-depth reporting to the City regarding income levels and receives an additional grant to ensure affordability for co-op members with demonstrated need. 
  • Redevelopment: The City has a strong interest in working with co-op housing partners to increase the number of co-op homes on City-land. In certain circumstances – including the poor building conditions / unused development potential – the City will determine whether there may be an opportunity to work with an individual co-op to explore potential redevelopment of the site.
  • End of lease: As a last resort and the City’s least preferred scenario, a co-op may opt not to renew its lease. Should this be the option pursued by the co-op, the City will work with that co-op to protect its members and work to identify a new building operator as quickly as possible.

Feedback can be submitted via an online form on the City website.

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