Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Langley City Council supports historic housing agreement to secure affordable seniors housing for generations

The Langley Lions Housing Society provides affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities. They are currently redeveloping their 518-unit complex south of Langley Mall into a 981-unit, seniors-focused affordable housing complex. The first phase of this redevelopment is the new 101-unit Birch Building.

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

To ensure that this redevelopment remains affordable and seniors-focus over the long-term, Langley City is requiring that the Society sign a Housing Agreement as part of the redevelopment process.

This Housing Agreement will be registered on title and will stay attached to the land in perpetuity. The City must agree to any modification to the Housing Agreement.

The Housing Agreement ensures that the new 101-unit Birch Building will be a 100% affordable rental building.

As per BC Housing’s formula, all the units will only be available for people with an annual household income of less than $74,000 or $58,000 for seniors. BC Housing adjusts this threshold from time-to-time.

50% of the units must have rents geared to income. People will pay 30% of their gross income towards rent.

30% of the units will have rents set to the average rents in the area as per the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

20% of the units will be for people whose income does not exceed the maximum Old Age Security plus Guaranteed Income Supplement amount. This amount is currently $18,825. BC Housing set the rents via a formula.

This Housing Agreement also ensures that 80% of the units are only available for people aged 55 and older. Currently, 86.3% of the people who live in the Langley Lions Housing Society Complex are 55+.

Council passed a motion in January 2020 asking City Staff to ensure that on average, 85% to 87% of units in phases 1 and 2 be available only for people aged 55+. Any future phases must also meet the same threshold. This threshold means that phase two should have 90% to 94% of units for people aged 55+.

The Housing Agreement has monitoring and enforcement measures.

Council gave first, second, and third reading to a bylaw that will enable this Housing Agreement. If given final reading by Council and signed by the Langley Lions Housing Society, this will be the first Housing Agreement in Langley City’s history. It will ensure that senior-focused affordable housing remains in our community for generations to come.

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