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Unlocking the Potential of Community-Owned Affordable Housing in Metro Vancouver

We’re facing a housing crisis and B.C. needs more homes of all kinds. But in order to rapidly support those in the most need, we need to stack the deck in favour of non-market, community-owned affordable housing.

The lack of stable and affordable housing is unquestionably one of the most significant challenges facing Metro Vancouver. On average, more than 10,000 affordable rental units are being lost every year. As a result, less than a third of all low-income households now have access to affordable housing (that is less than 30% of their income), while nearly half pay more than 50% and are vulnerable to homelessness. Moderate- and middle-income households are also faced with rising shelter costs and unstable housing situations.

The objective of this project is to assess whether we are building enough of the right type of housing to address the affordable housing crisis. This project specifically looks at the role of non-market housing in delivering new supply.

To do this, we developed a model based on publicly available data. It sets up 3 scenarios:

  • ‘Business as Usual’ (BAU) Scenario – Current and historical trends in the ownership and construction of new housing continue. Non-market housing completions are 14% of new rental housing supply, which includes both the primary and secondary rental markets.

  • Non-Market Scenario 1 (NM1) – There is an increased level in non-market housing through the acquisition of purpose-built market housing (1,780 units) and a greater share of non-market housing in new construction (up to 40% of new rental supply).

  • Non-Market Scenario 2 (NM2) – There is a stronger shift to non-market housing: the share of non-market housing in new housing construction rises to 70% of new rental supply, and 10,000 homes that are currently affordable are acquired by non-profits.

Our modelling shows that the BC Government’s new housing targets, programs, and guidelines will make a big difference in Metro Vancouver if they are met, lifting half of households that are in precarious housing situations today into secure, affordable housing.

But in order to go all the way, we need to double down and make sure 70% of all rental being built in Metro Vancouver is non-market.

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Friday: Closed

Sat-Sun: Closed


409 – 312 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 2T2

Vancity Community Foundation’s office at 312 Main is located on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ /Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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