The Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation is a consortium of non-profit organizations, social finance institutions and the municipal government with a plan to develop and provide long term affordable housing in Metro Vancouver. The Land Trust project will provide 358 units of non-market rental housing on four sites. Units will rent at varying levels of affordability ranging from units for those living on income-assistance to units renting at close to market rates. The City of Vancouver is leasing the Land Trust $24.6 million of land at the four sites through 99 year leases at a nominal rate. The Land Trust is responsible for the construction of the buildings. Construction financing is being sought from BC Housing. Long term mortgage debt is being underwritten by Vancity Credit Union and additional capital financing has been secured from New Market Funds. The Land Trust will enter into operating agreements with three non-profit housing providers to operate housing on the sites. There will be no ongoing operating subsidies provided from the City or other levels of government. At the end of the lease, the land and building will revert back to the City’s ownership (although this will be open to renegotiation).
The Land Trust, a non-profit organization established by the Co-op Housing Federation of BC is the lead proponent in the project. Non-profit and co-operative organizations will operate units for a diverse range of tenants, including low-income families and individuals with mental health and / or addictions. A key feature of the project is a ‘portfolio approach’ that is enabling efficiencies in developing and operating the site, as well as enabling cross-subsidization from higher rent units to lower end of market units across the portfolio. The agreement between the City and the Land Trust anticipates operating surpluses that will be used for future expansion of affordable housing. (Patten, 2015)
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