New homes are now available for 85 low- to middle-income families, seniors and individuals in North Vancouver as a new rental apartment building opens.
“Our work to address the housing affordability crisis must include solutions that help individuals and families with middle-level incomes, as well as those who are in deep need for subsidized housing,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “Financed by our HousingHub program, The Eleanor is a welcome addition to North Vancouver that will allow more middle-income community members and their families an affordable place to call home.”
Located at 125 East 20th St. in central Lonsdale, The Eleanor is a six-storey building with 75 rental homes designed to be affordable for middle-income households, and 10 with rent geared to income for people with low to moderate incomes. It features a mix of studio, one-, two-and three-bedroom homes.
The project is the result of a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, VRS Communities, the Government of Canada through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the City of North Vancouver. VRS Communities Society will own and operate the homes.
“Access to affordable and adequate housing is a right we all share, but too many people are struggling to find a place to call home,” said Linda Buchanan, mayor, City of North Vancouver. “That’s why the city is committed to delivering affordable and accessible rental homes in partnership with other stakeholders. We are proud to have contributed to this project, and I’m excited to see it reach the tenanting phase as the community need has never been greater.”
VRS Communities received financing for the project through BC Housing’s HousingHub program. HousingHub was created in 2018 and works with community, government, non-profit and private-sector partners to help create new affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
“VRS Communities has an established position in the province and a strategic vision, making possible the means to deliver non-profit services to those requiring affordable and accessible housing,” said Ken Fraser, executive director, VRS Communities. “Co-operation provided in partnership with BC Housing, CMHC and the City of North Vancouver has allowed VRS Communities to add a new generation of affordable and accessible rental housing to the City of North Vancouver and to those seniors, families and persons with disabilities who will call The Eleanor their home.”
The Province does not directly fund HousingHub projects. Instead, it makes low-cost financing available to developers to build new housing. Through HousingHub, developers receive loans with lower interest rates than would otherwise be available. The developers commit to pass construction-cost savings on to prospective tenants and homeowners through more affordable rents and homeownership opportunities.
Residents will start moving into their new homes on April 1.
“As a member of this community, I’ve watched the neighbourhood grow and attract young families and people from all walks of life,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, MP for North Vancouver and Minister of Natural Resources. “Creating safe and affordable housing is the cornerstone of building vibrant communities. The Eleanor Project is already making a big impact here, with hundreds of people set to call this high-quality, safe and affordable building 'home' very soon. Congratulations to all involved for making this project a reality.”
This project is part of B.C.'s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded over 32,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including nearly 500 homes in North Vancouver.
- The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $24.1 million in financing toward this project, which will be repaid by VRS Communities.
- The Government of Canada, through CMHC, contributed approximately $3.1 million in BC Priorities Housing Initiative bilateral-agreement grants.
- The City of North Vancouver provided $400,000 and signed a housing agreement with VRS Communities to ensure that 10 units, which are wheelchair accessible, will be at the rent-geared-to-income level.
- VRS Communities provided approximately $600,000.
For more information about HousingHub: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021AG0025-000720
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC