Vancouver, BC: Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, alongside Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver, participated in the grand opening of Aspen, a 145- unit affordable housing project located at 188 East 6th Avenue in Vancouver.
The project received federal funding of $48.5 million. The City of Vancouver has provided land for the 60-year lease of the site, estimated at $16.85 million.
Aspen, developed by Catalyst Developments, is a 9-storey residential building that will provide the vibrant Mount Pleasant community of Vancouver with 145 new units of much needed rental housing.
The project offers a mix of studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, is pet-friendly, a community garden, and features a health centre on the ground floor. Partners also celebrated the opening of Alder located at 3625 Sawmill Crescent by Catalyst Developments – a 5-storey residential building providing Vancouver with 119 new units of much needed rental housing, ranging from studios, one, two, and three-bedroom units.
The project received federal funding of $39.8 million and is located on land leased from the City of Vancouver and is subject to a Housing Agreement which will hold the affordability for at least 60 years.
Vancity Credit Union and the Vancity Community Foundation provided $1 million in pre-development and five hundred thousand dollars in pre-construction financing for the project, in partnership with CMHC through the Vancity Affordable Housing Accelerator Fund.
The Accelerator Fund creates social change by accelerating the supply of climate-ready affordable housing for low to moderate income households, by providing low-cost capital to affordable rental projects. A total of 70% of these will be below the City of Vancouver published average market rental rates, and the remaining 30% will be at or under the Housing Income Limits.
For further information on rental rates, please consult the Catalyst Developments website. The projects received funding through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program that supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families in expensive housing markets.
Ahmed Hussen said: “Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why, through investments in Alder and Aspen, our government is taking action to not only increase the supply of new rental developments, but to also provide affordable housing options that are closer to jobs, services and amenities, that Vancouverites need. Best of luck to the new residents who have new affordable places to call home.”
Kennedy Stewart said: “These 264 new affordable rentals are the latest in thousands of homes approved and underway that are helping build a Vancouver that works for all of us. Thanks to our ongoing housing partnership with the Government of Canada, and the expertise of community builders like Catalyst and Vancity, hundreds of our neighbours and their families have a renewed sense of hope that can only come from a safe and affordable place to call home.”
Luke Harrison, President, Catalyst Developments, said: “Greater Vancouver, and every growing region in Canada, is badly in need of more housing affordable to local area incomes. We believe Community Housing is the answer. Rental housing developed, owned, and operated by non-profit organizations in partnership with CMHC and cities like Vancouver is the innovation we need to scale and invest in.”
Allison Felker, Executive Director of the Vancity Community Foundation, added: “Access to affordable homes is a driver of economic self-reliance and the Aspen project is an example of how public and private partnerships can create more affordable, climate-ready and equitable neighbourhoods. Vancity is proud to partner with CMHC, Catalyst and Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency to help tackle the severe affordability crisis and housing shortages.”