City of New Westminster seeks innovative partnership for two new affordable housing developments
New Westminster – The City of New Westminster is requesting proposals for innovative affordable ownership or rental housing projects for two city-owned sites. The City is aiming to maximize the use of civic land assets while developing a model for addressing the very pressing issue of housing affordability in Metro Vancouver.
“This initiative demonstrates our commitment to be both a leader and active partner in addressing housing affordability,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Coté. “We are hoping that this process will result in some creative solutions to one of the most important issues facing our region right now.”
As part of the request, the City of New Westminster has proposed making two municipally-owned sites available (630 Ewen Avenue and 43 Hastings Street) to the successful proponent/s at no charge. The City will also cover related expenses such as development costs and building permit fees, legal fees, and site servicing. The City is open to all ideas and is working closely with BC Housing and the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, which could provide additional support in terms of project financing or operating assistance.
“Our objective is to create new affordable housing and demonstrate the development of compact forms of housing, including family-friendly, here in New Westminster,” said Bev Grieve, Director of Development Services. “Lessons learned will inform our Official Community Plan review currently underway and act as an incubator for housing affordability and innovation that can be applied across our region.”
The request for proposals will be issued shortly with a deadline for submission by the end of September 2015.
“Depending on the quality of the proposals received, we aim to have up to two affordable housing projects under construction by the summer 2017,” added Mayor Coté. “Our Affordable Housing Task Force is also exploring other opportunities to facilitate new affordable housing in our community to better meet the needs of persons with disabilities, seniors and young families.”
In December 2014, Mayor Coté established the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force to make recommendations to Council in support of the creation of new non-market housing for low and moderate income households, affordable rental housing and affordable home ownership in New Westminster. Since its establishment, the task force has made significant progress, including development of a housing needs analysis and inventory of City-owned lands suitable for affordable housing, as well as the retention of a housing consultant.
Mayor Jonathan Coté
City of New Westminster
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