Community Land Trust delivers first phase of new co-op homes in Vancouver’s River District

Gregor Robertson
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

THE first phase of new affordable housing is now open at Fraserview Co-operative Housing, providing 90 new apartments and townhomes in southeast Vancouver’s River District. With the expected completion of phase two later this year, Fraserview Co-op will provide a total of 278 new homes for people who live and work in Vancouver. The project is built on City land and the City selected the Community Land Trust to develop the building.

“It’s a big win to open up new, much-needed co-op housing for Vancouver families at below-market rents,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver is leading the region in boosting the supply of new rental housing and with Community Land Trust we’ll deliver over 350 affordable homes at three different sites. We are focused on providing the right supply of homes for Vancouver residents and co-ops are a great long-term housing option for people to put roots down in our city.”

The new homes at Fraserview Co-op are pet friendly and geared towards families, with a mix of two-bedroom (4) and three-bedroom (32) townhomes, plus two-bedroom (31) and three-bedroom (23) apartments. Rents will range from $2,050 to $2,750— approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of market rents in the area— and are targeted towards moderate income households. The rents in this project help subsidize more affordable rents in the other two co-op buildings, including people paying the provincial shelter rate of $375 per month.

Fraserview co-op will operate without any ongoing government subsidy and will require that prospective tenants meet minimum income eligibility requirements to help ensure security of tenure.

The second phase of housing at Fraserview Co-op will be ready for move-in later this year, with an additional 188 apartments for individuals and families: 128 one-bedroom, 50 two-bedroom, and 10 three-bedroom apartments.

“We have been waiting to celebrate the opening of Fraserview Housing Co-op for some time,” said Thom Armstrong, executive director of CHF BC and the Community Land Trust. “This is an example of what the City and the community housing sector can accomplish when we work together. We’re excited to meet the first families who’ll be moving into Fraserview, and we look forward to many more celebrations like this in the coming months and years.”

The Community Land Trust partnership represents an innovative opportunity to leverage City land with the goal of delivering 358 units of sustainable, protected affordable housing across several neighbourhoods in Vancouver.

A development agreement was signed in October 2014 between the City and the Land Trust to secure delivery of these homes in several neighbourhoods in Vancouver on these City-owned sites:

* 1700 Kingsway (Sanford Housing Society – 48 units)
* 2780 SE Marine Drive and 2800 SE Marine Drive Fraserview Housing Co-op (220 units)
* 2910 E Kent Avenue South, Fraserview Housing Co-op (90 units)
To date, Sanford Housing Society and phase one of the Fraserview Housing Co-op are open. Together, these affordable housing units will provide urgently needed homes that are geared towards families and seniors: over 50 per cent of the housing (182 two- and three-bedroom homes) will be for families and 30 per cent (108 homes) for seniors.

The City’s new Housing Vancouver strategy proposes a significant increase in housing supply in Vancouver: 72,000 new homes over 10 years, with two-thirds of those homes to be rental. Additionally, Vancouver City Council recently voted to invest $4.175 million in Empty Homes Tax revenue towards providing additional land and resources for affordable non-profit and co-op housing.