Update: Langley City council voted unanimously to give first three readings to the agreement at the Monday, March 8, meeting.
A new 110-unit seniors housing project in Langley City will be operated under an agreement between the City and Langley Lions Housing Society that is the first of its kind for the municipality.
Under the terms of the housing agreement, 80 per cent of the suites in the eight-storey building near 203rd Street and 54th Avenue must be occupied by tenants 55 and older.
All must be rental suites, with 30 per cent for “moderate income” renters who can pay what was described as “affordable market rents” in a report to council, while 50 per cent pay rent based on a percentage of their income and 20 per cent will be for tenants who require “low income deep subsidy.”
Council will vote on preliminary approval, three readings, of a bylaw that would implement the agreement at the Monday, March 8 meeting of council, with final approval expected at the following meeting on March 22.
In his report to council City Deputy Director of Development Services, Roy Beddow said it will be the “first housing agreement under the Local Government Act in the history of the City of Langley.”
Under section 483 of the act, local governments can enter into housing agreements with property owners for the provision of affordable and special needs housing that can set out specific conditions relating to tenure, availability of units to classes of persons (including ages and incomes), administration and management of the units and unit rents.
Beddow said the agreement will ensure the project “will provide affordable rental housing units primarily for seniors in accordance with the City’s policies and community expectations.”
“It remains in place regardless of ownership changes and cannot be removed or amended without the agreement of the City,” Beddow explained.
The new facility replaces the Birch building that was torn down following a fire in 2017 that claimed one life and caused extensive structural damage.
Langley Lions Housing Society currently operates several apartment buildings on the 203rd Street property, some more than 40 years old.
Once the new Birch is open, plans call for the transfer of residents from one of the aging buildings that is next in line for replacement.
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