All-rental and affordable building advances in City of North Van

The public will soon have their say on a proposed rental and affordable housing project in the City of North Vancouver.

Council voted unanimously Monday night to advance a six-storey, 85-unit rental building at 125 East 20th St. to a public hearing. The site is currently home to an older four-storey, 28-unit rental building. Of the 85 new units, 10 would be offered at $375 per month to clients of the Vancouver Resource Society for the Physically Disabled, which owns the land.

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The city is also being asked to contribute $400,000 to the below-market rental units, which would all be wheelchair accessible.

To reduce costs, the building would have only one level of unground parking, which would host 49 parking spots and 119 spaces reserved for bicycles and mobility scooters.

Any tenants displaced by the redevelopment are being offered the chance to move into the new building at below-market rates. Tenants with a tenure of 12 years or more will be offered one-bedroom units for $1,220 or two-bedroom units for $1,880 but they must demonstrate their income is less than $45,000 per year for a one-bedroom or $61,000 per year for a two-bedroom.

About 10 tenants have already said they would like to return, according to the non-profit.

Some on council said they’d like to see more subsidized units, or more family-friendly three-bedroom units, but both city staff and the developer stated it was difficult getting keeping the proposal financially viable with the unit count currently on the table.

“This is a unique project for the city in that this is the first time a non-profit has come forward doing a mixed market and non-market rental project. As I understand, they’ve already pushed the pro forma quite far,” planner Wendy Tse explained to council.

Mayor Linda Buchanan said she was proud to see the project go to a public hearing and offered a parting shot the city’s municipal neighbours.

“I’m very proud of the work the city has done with Vancouver Resource Society in the past. I think, as partners, we’ve delivered some incredible housing for people in our community with disabilities,” she said. I’m happy to see it move forward and I’m hoping it will be successful because it’s much needed and in the city, we’re very happy to be providing housing for people in the community – unlike others across the North Shore.”

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