Vancouver’s mayor announced yesterday a plan to set aside 20 city-owned properties (worth an estimated $250 million) for social housing if the federal government would cough up $500 million to fund construction (joined by some commitment from the province). Up to 3,500 new units might be added.
This seems like a smart move, insofar as the Liberal government is looking for shovel-ready projects to invest in, and has already raised social housing projects as a possibility.
To put the 3,500 possible new units in context, their addition could add nearly 14% to the current non-market housing stock for the City of Vancouver. That’s not trivial. Looked at a different way, 3,500 new social housing units could help house the 1,746 people counted in the City of Vancouver’s 2015 homeless count.
Still lots to be figured out here, including who will run these units if they get built. But this seems like a positive step for the City.