Thursday, December 12, 2019

December 9 Council Meeting: Langley Lions Housing Society’s 981-Unit Affordable Housing Project

Bound by 203rd Street, 54th Avenue, 204th Street, and the Langley Mall, the Langley Lions Housing Society complex is one of the largest seniors-focused affordable housing complexes in the province. There are 518 units of affordable housing within the complex today.

The current mix of people that live in the complex include 466 people who are aged 55 or above (86.3%), with the remaining people under the age of 55. Of these 74 people who are under the age of 55, 3 live in assisted living units, 10 are in the Acquired Brain Injury Program, and 8 are in the Mental Health Program. These programs receive funding from Fraser Health (the provincial government.)

Rendering of overall redevelopment plan for the Langley Lions Housing Society complex. Select image to enlarge.

The buildings in the complex are at the end of their useful lives; they need to be replaced. There is also an affordable housing crisis in our province. With this in mind, the Langley Lions Housing Society is looking to replace the buildings within the complex over the next decade or so. This will result in the number of affordable housing units increasing to 981 units.

The first phase of the project that is being proposed is to replace the now demolished 66-unit Birch Building with a new 8-storey, 101-unit building funded in partnership with BC Housing (the provincial government.) They are currently proposing that 80% of these units be for seniors which is lower than the current 86.3% mix today. These units are proposed to be primarily 1-bedroom.

Renderings of proposed 101-unit Birch replacement building. Select image to enlarge.

The proposed redevelopment is phased in such a way that every person that lives in the complex today will be able to remain living within the complex during its redevelopment.

Because this is a significant project, Langley City’s Official Community Plan will need to be updated. This is in addition to rezoning the properties which the complex is on, plus approving a development permit for the first phase of this project which is the new Birch Building. Langley City is also requiring a housing agreement be signed to ensure that the buildings remain affordable into the future, and that they are primarily for lower-income seniors.

Council gave first and second reading to amend the Official Community Plan, rezone the properties, and discharge the current land-use contracts. This will enable a public hearing to be held on January 13th, 2020.

This is one of the most significant redevelopment projects to occur in our community. As always, I will be keeping an open mind and listening to people in our community to make sure that we get this right.

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