On June 5, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously in favour of passing two purpose-built rental projects that will provide 61 secure rental homes for local residents at 855 Kingsway and 4459 Rupert St.
This is a big win for Vancouver renters — who make up 53 per cent of households — and Gen Squeeze supporters, who rapidly responded to the opportunity to act.
Generation Squeeze has a new team member! All thanks to Rachel Selinger, our new Metro Vancouver Housing Strategist, we were able to quickly bring people together in support of these two projects:
- Three people came out and spoke in support of new rentals at the public hearing
- 93 Gen Squeeze supporters used our online tool to send letters of support to city council
Huge thanks to everyone who shared their views, helping represent a much needed, broad range of voices in the public hearing process.
Support for purpose-built rentals
Most cities strive for a healthy vacancy rate around 3-5 per cent. Right now, Vancouver’s is less than one per cent, making it one of the tightest markets in Canada.
Approving a variety of purpose-built rental housing that targets low and middle-income earners is a critical part of our plan to restore housing affordability, and these two Rental 100 projects fit the bill:
- They total 61 new rental homes, including 10 family-friendly units, close to transit
855 Kingsway is a six-story, mixed-use proposal that will provide 50 secure rental units, ten of which will be three-bedroom homes suitable for families
4459 Rupert St. is a four-story, mixed-use proposal that will provide 12 new secure rental units
- Both projects were proposed under Vancouver's Rental 100 program, which encourages the development of 100 per cent residential rental projects, targeted at average income households
We were thankful to speak to and witness unanimous council support for these rentals, as well as updates to Measures to Retain the Rental Housing Stock, and other worthy projects such as 3510 Fraser Street.
Representing your community
While renters make up more than half of Vancouver households, new projects are often resisted by neighbours. Comments were made at an open house for 4459 Rupert St. that:
- Rental units weren't suitable near a school and in a family neighbourhood
- Renters would increase crime and result in a transient and unstable neighbourhood
- Renters should be screened before being allowed in
- Low income renters, in particular, were not welcome
These kinds of comments reflect a view of renters as — essentially — second class citizens. By showing up and speaking out, we can amplify the voices of young adults in the community, dispel false narratives, and rally for the kinds of housing we need.
Our goal is to restore housing affordability forever. Here's our game plan.
Want to get involved?
We would love to have you on our team. Consider signing up as a Metro Vancouver volunteer!
Are you a renter, or a rental housing provider?
The Rental Housing Task Force is hosting public workshops to brainstorm how we can ensure safe, secure, and affordable rental housing across the province.
You can find details for the Surrey, Vancouver (waitlisted), and newly added Burnaby sessions. Time, locations, and registration details are on the B.C. government website.
Have an event idea, or project you think we should support? Let our new Metro Vancouver Housing Strategist know!
See more wins
We’ve been on a roll lately. Learn about our recent campaign successes:
Let’s do more
We want to restore housing affordability for renters and owners — forever.
You can help by becoming a Gen Squeeze Member: