Plans for a new affordable rental housing development in Maple Ridge. (Black Press Media files)

10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis: report

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector

An additional 10,000 affordable rental units need to be built around Metro Vancouver annually to begin fixing the housing crisis in the region, according to a report released Wednesday by the Canadian Centre on Policy Alternatives.

The report focused on building government-funded housing, rather than relying on the private sector.

“A lot of the focus on housing has been around private-built housing with homeownership as the goal,” senior economist Marc Lee told Black Press Media by phone.

But the people who need housing the most, Lee said, are low- or middle-income tenants who are not profitable for private builders.

Compounding the issue, he noted, is that although Metro Vancouver’s population has risen over the years, rental housing has not kept pace.

Between immigration and more people being pushed out of homeownership, “there’s a lot more competition for the same number of rental,” Lee said.

The report found that 10,000 new affordable rental units need to be built each year, at a cost of about $2.5 billion, in order to keep pace with population growth.

“There’s such a backlog [of people needing housing], so this is just to tread water,” Lee said.

“If we want to deal with the backlog or address homelessness, we need to go above and beyond that.”

The report acknowledges that $2.5 billion each year is a marked increase above the province’s average yearly capital budget of $10 billion.

Lee said the feds would need to step in as well, but points out that $2.5 billion cost would be made back by charging even low rents to tenants.

The report said that with a one bedroom apartment costing $180,000 to build, the public would earn back $216,000 over 30 years on that unit even with a subsidized rent of $600 per month.

Lee acknowledged that while the financials may work out, public opinion could be harder to sway.

“The challenge is going to be how this plays out on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis,” he said, citing opposition to modular housing in Vancouver and Surrey, as well as recently announced low-income housing for displaced tent city residents in Maple Ridge.

“It’s more about the conversation we need to have; we have a crisis and right now it’s leaving people on the streets and camping in parks.”

READ MORE: Rent as low as $375 per month at new Maple Ridge affordable housing complex

VIDEOS: Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Sources receives $70K from SurreyCares

Funds will help with warehouse space for food programs in Surrey, White Rock, Langley

Conservationists in race against time to rehabilitate grizzly cubs transferred to Aldergrove zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Pink flags on Langley church grounds raise awareness about sex-selective abortion

On Saturday, 1,000 pink flags will be placed on the lawn of Christ Covenant Church

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Police nab three impaired drivers in one night in Maple Ridge

Ridge Meadows RCMP served 80 impaired driving infractions in June

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Most Read