Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Metro Vancouver’s site selection process for 500 new units of affordable housing. Scale tipped for Langley.

As I’ve posted about recently, the Metro Vancouver Regional District is looking to building 500 new units of family- and seniors-focused affordable housing in our region in partnership with member municipalities. These new units will be funded by an increase in regional property tax which will result in an additional $4 million per year for regional affordable housing projects.

While 500 new units is a good start, it is a modest number. For example, the redevelopment of the Langley Lions Seniors Housing complex in Downtown Langley will see a similar number of new units built over the next decade. All this to say, there will be a highly competitive process for these 500 new units of Metro Vancouver Regional District affordable housing.

The regional district has put together a matrix that it will be using to score potential sites for these new units. Sites with higher scores will have a higher chance of getting an affordable housing project built.

The scores will be weighted as follows:

Metrics Weighting Max Score
CATEGORY: Development Opportunity 40%
Development potential — anticipated number of unit 10
Development readiness — fast-track municipal approval process 10
Site readiness — low construction costs 10
CATEGORY: Tenant Livability 20%
Walking distance to amenities — parks, schools, shops, services 5
Walking distance to frequent transit network 5
Support tenant relocation from other developments 5
CATEGORY: Municipal Action to Contribute to Financial Viability 20%
Reduced municipal development fees and/or other financial contributions to support the project 15
CATEGORY: Regional Equality 20%
Higher score for communities with little or no Metro Vancouver funded affordable housing today 15

What is good to see is that the regional equality component of the scoring matrix is significant. Langley does not have any Metro Vancouver managed affordable housing, so all other things being equal, there is a higher chance of new affordable housing being built in Langley City or Township than other municipalities.

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