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North Van's Riverside Drive to receive new affordable housing development

The site has been selected as part of Metro Vancouver’s regionwide 10-year affordable housing plan
Four undeveloped lots owned by the District of North Vancouver will become affordable housing. | District of North Vancouver

A portion of North Vancouver land has been selected as the site for a new project that will bring affordable housing to families, seniors and those with disabilities on the North Shore.

The four undeveloped lots, located on Riverside Drive in the Maplewood Village area, have been chosen by Metro Vancouver to be developed as part of its $190 million, 10-Year-Housing plan, following the District of North Vancouver’s application for funding in 2021.

The first phase of Metro Vancouver’s decade-long plan will see 800 new affordable rental homes built in seven projects across the region, with Pitt Meadows (Heron’s Nest) and Burnaby (The Stellar) among the other municipalities to have contributed land to the project.

“We look forward to working with the District of North Vancouver to help develop more affordable housing in the region,” said Brenda Locke, chair of the Metro Vancouver Housing Committee. “We will be delivering approximately 2,000 new affordable rental homes across the region over the next 10 years, and it is because of important partnerships like this that we are able to make progress on addressing the shortage of affordable housing in our region.”

District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said the development of affordable housing for families, seniors, and vulnerable members of the community continues to be “a top priority.”

“This project in collaboration with Metro Vancouver will be a key step in our ongoing efforts to meet the housing needs of our region,” he said.

The project is expected to accommodate 60 to 90 units of housing, each available to be rented by low and moderate income households earning between $30,000 and $85,000 per year.

The District of North Vancouver put its name forward for consideration in 2021, rezoning the Riverside Drive site, just north of Old Dollarton Road, to ensure it was development-ready for the new development.

While the space was given to accommodate below-market housing of between four and six storeys, the finer details on how large the project will be, and what creation timeline it will adhere to, are still to be determined.

“Metro Vancouver is in the early stages of developing a preliminary concept plan for the site in the District of North Vancouver … which will be home to a non-market rental project geared to families, seniors, and people with disabilities,” said Metro Vancouver. 

“We will work closely with the district on a design for the site, and will share more information as it becomes available.”

Metro Vancouver has said it will engage with the community “as the project progresses.” It is an endeavour that may incite debate, if a District of North Vancouver public hearing in 2021 – where nearby residents pushed for council to turn down the proposal and keep the site as a public park – is anything to go by.

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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