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Effectiveness of Vancouver Affordable Housing Program Questioned

With prices listed at $1,600 a month for a studio, $2,800 for a two-bedroom and $3,700 for a three-bedroom, officials in Vancouver, British Columbia are wondering whether the Rent 100 program is achieving its intended goals.
March 26, 2019, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Jen St. Denis reports that "extremely high rents proposed for several new rental buildings" have provoked Vancouver officials to revisit the Rental 100 program.

"Supporters of the Rental 100 incentive program say it’s kick-started a rental building boom in Vancouver after a 30-year period when no new purpose-built rental buildings were being constructed, and it’s reckless to consider cancelling it when there is a dire need to increase rental housing," according to St. Denis.

"Over the past decade, 3,644 new rental units have been completed in Vancouver, according to the city. Staff said 2,161 of those units used Rental 100 incentives or a previous program known as STIR. Developers can apply to get a break on development fees if they agree to put a covenant on the building that will keep it being used as rental for 60 years and to charge 'affordable' rent rates."

City councilors question whether the rents of new buildings using the system are actually achieving affordable rents. City staff are thus reviewing the, and "Councillor Adriane Carr plans to introduce a motion that will freeze new applications."

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