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

Teen cashier pays grocery bill for Aldergrove woman who comes back a week later to shower her in gifts

Otter Co-op’s Brooklyn Roberts asked to pay Tamara Smith’s $44 grocery bill after debit card declined

Fuel oil contaminates Langley salmon-bearing stream

Source of Saturday leak near airport may be connected to Friday leak near LMH

Ryan’s Regards: Farewell to Langley landmarks

Gabby’s Country Cabaret and Mary’s British Store will be missed

Retired Langley RCMP officer publishes book of memories serving on the force

What Cops Talk About Over Coffee features array of stories from different police officers

Vancouver Giants to stream 2007 Memorial Cup championship game Saturday night

Giants versus Medicine Hat Tigers can be viewed on YouTube at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Most Read