Have Your Say! Coal Harbour School & Social Housing Development

Co-op members: this development would be very beneficial to us, as our kids would now be able to go to school just one block away (this has been on the books since 1990, FYI). As members of a co-op, I can’t imagine that we would not be in favor of more social housing (badly needed in this city). There has been a lot of negative backlash from some of our more wealthy neighbours, so please make your voice heard.

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The City of Vancouver has filed an application to build an 11 storey tower next to the Coal Harbour Community Centre that will have a new elementary school for 340 children; a 65 child daycare facility; and 60 social housing units. 

To see a video about the proposal – please click the link below:
https://vimeo.com/491270784
 
The City is hosting a ‘virtual open house’ from January 4th to the 10th online at https://shapeyourcity.ca/480-broughton-st and has also provided supporting project material there too.
 
An Urban Design Panel is slated for January 20th by Webex.
 
The Development Board will hear and is expected to make their decision on March 22nd
 
So, it’s important that you visit and share your thoughts immediately as the deadline to submit online comments to the City is January 15th.  If you want to email the city directly, you can contact Chris.Miller@vancouver.ca.  She is the project facilitator and her number is 604-829-9783. 
 
If you want to register to speak for 5 minutes at the Development hearing on March 22nd, you may contact Kathy.Cermeno@vancouver.ca.
 
The school has always been contemplated in the official community development plan dating back to 1990, which was updated in 2002.  Our board has already communicated with the City to express our initial thoughts with respect to: The limited time to view the open house and submit comments;What the exact social housing mix will be;Are there going to be any ‘hard to house’ persons in the proposed accommodations;Who will manage the social housing;How the school enrollment be determined (ie. Are community residents guaranteed);Is there a commitment for additional policing in the area;Is there a security and traffic plan; and,Is the City better off to create more units at a more economical site (the costs once you factor in the land value puts each social housing unit at over $1 million). As of now, the city has responded to our initial inquiries as follows: “As Social Housing, at least 30% of the units will be occupied by households with incomes below the BC Housing housing income limits (HILs). The remaining units are anticipated to be at Low End of Market (LEM) rents. The affordability target will be finalized subject to the amount of senior government grants that can be secured. The HILs rents correspond to a household income range of a maximum of $55,500 to $78,000 as set by BC Housing for 2021 (applies as of December 1, 2020). These rates are at rent geared to income and are set at no more than 30% of income. The LEM rents correspond to the average rent for new construction (2005+) as published by CMHC. The income maximums of $74,150 for a studio and 1-bedroom LEM unit and $113,040 for a family sized LEM unit are based on the BC Housing Low and Moderate Income Limits for 2020.  The proposal for 60 units of social housing, includes 7 studio, 18 1-bedroom, 23 2-bedroom, and 12 3-bedroom units.”
 
“We have social and supportive housing along with childcares and schools in every neighbourhood in Vancouver and we do not provide a policing centre every time we open a new building. We rely on an experienced non-profit housing operator to operate and manage the social housing building. The housing operator is committed to managing the building safely and responsibly.
 
This housing is designed to be primarily for families with children and social housing is typically provided to people who cannot afford an equivalent unit in the market without paying too much of their income on rent.”
 
“The City has owned this site for a long period of time and the construction of the school, childcare and social housing fulfills the requirements of the Official Development Plan. By co-locating the social housing with childcare and an elementary school, the proposal allows for a social housing building opportunity that would otherwise be lost. The full construction cost of the project is $80,812,000, with $36,505,000 for the social housing and the remaining $44,307,000 for the childcare and the school. There is a need for social housing throughout Vancouver, including downtown. We know that land costs are higher in the downtown area and it would cost us a significant amount to purchase the land elsewhere in the area, when we have the opportunity to co-locate here.”
 
“There is a cost to building social housing and there is current senior government funding to assist in the cost of construction. Market rentals would still have a cost for construction for a private developer.  
 
The City does not typically sell its land if the zoning has requirements for social infrastructure.
 
This proposal contributes to meeting the requirements of the 1990 Coal Harbour Official Development Plan (updated in November 2002) for affordable housing with a priority on housing for core-need households (now referred to as the Housing Income Limit or HILs rate units) and with fifty percent of the affordable units to be suitable for families with children. The zoning bylaw CD-1 (365) for 301 Jervis Street approved by Council on November 26, 1996 (amended December 9, 2003), provided for the development of a co-located community centre (Phase 1) and school, childcare centre and non-market housing project on the Property (Phase 2).”