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New rental building provides 81 affordable homes for downtown Vancouver residents

October 5 2017 1105 Seymour will house singles, couples and families on low-to-moderate incomes

“It’s fantastic to see 81 pet-friendly, affordable rental homes for seniors and low income families officially open, as part of the City’s goal to provide the right supply of housing for people of all ages and incomes who live and work in Vancouver.”

Rendering of 1105 Seymour

This morning the City marked the opening of 1105 Seymour, which brings 81 non-market rental homes to singles, couples, families and seniors in downtown Vancouver. 

In attendance to celebrate the opening of the new building was Mayor Gregor Robertson, Dr. Brian Chittock with AIDS Vancouver, Neil Self with Positive Living BC, Marcia Tait with Aunt Leah’s, SWAN and Ready to Rent BC. 

1105 Seymour is an innovative partnership which renews and increases social housing and provides significant office space for four non-profit organizations in the Downtown South neighbourhood of Vancouver.

“It’s fantastic to see 81 pet-friendly, affordable rental homes for seniors and low income families officially open, as part of the City’s goal to provide the right supply of housing for people of all ages and incomes who live and work in Vancouver,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“I’m particularly proud of the partnership with community non-profit leaders – AIDS Vancouver, Positive Living, Aunt Leah’s and SWAN - who will occupy the commercial space and provide valuable services in the neighbourhood. 1105 Seymour was funded entirely by $28 million in developer fees on new downtown buildings, and it’s rewarding to see the positive impact of new development pay for badly needed low and moderate income housing.”

Housing affordability is a top priority

The City’s top priority is housing affordability to ensure Vancouver remains a city for all, especially for low and moderate income households struggling to find safe and secure housing in Vancouver.

1105 Seymour is one example of how the City can achieve the delivery of new social housing and non-profit office space through a combination of strategic partnerships, responsible leverage of City assets and opportunities, regulation, and policy.

Rental costs

Rents are geared to match income levels of tenants, depending on the size of people’s families and their gross (before taxes) household income. There will be three tiers of rental costs:

  • Tenants on income assistance will pay shelter rates
  • Low-income tenants not on income assistance will pay 30 percent of their gross income on rent 
  • For moderate-income households who can afford low end of market, rent will be less than market rates found in the Downtown South neighbourhood.

How to become a tenant at 1105 Seymour St

Organizations on site

Positive Living BC and AIDS Vancouver, two important community-based organizations that provide support and care for persons living with HIV and AIDS will have space in the building.

SWAN Vancouver, a charity that supports indoor, immigrant sex workers, and Aunt Leah’s, which helps kids in foster care and young mothers, will also have operations on site. 

Project cost

The total cost to provide social housing and services for the building, including land and construction costs, is estimated at $28,284,000, which was paid entirely by developer fees. $23.6 million came from Wall Financial for the rezoning of 1300 Richards Street, and $4.6 million came from Downtown South Development Cost Levies (DCLs) for replacement housing.

Housing Vancouver Strategy

While we work with residents to map a new ten-year strategy, the City remains dedicated in its efforts to act to address the housing crisis.

This initiative is a key part of the City of Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness strategy, aimed at revitalizing existing social housing units and creating new affordable, community focused housing.

Learn more about Vancouver’s new housing strategy

Quotes

Alison Clancey, Executive Director, SWAN Vancouver Society

"The non-profit office space at 1101 Seymour is a result of the City’s ongoing commitment to providing equitable access to community services. Thanks to this space, four community organizations can work together to support some of Vancouver’s most marginalized community members."

Kristi Rivait, Co-Executive Director, Ready to Rent BC

“Being a good tenant is not an innate skills and can be taught. RentSmart is a proven educational approach that builds successful tenancies for both tenants and landlords.  1105 Seymour’s goal to recognize the RentSmart certificate of tenants is key to housing stability, prevention of homelessness and strong communities.”  

Dr. Brian W. Chittock, DBA, Executive Director, AIDS Vancouver

“We are very excited to be a part of this innovative project at Seymour Street with our sister nonprofit organizations and very happy to be a part of the housing project at 1105 Seymour Street partnering with the City of Vancouver, the Mayor and Council.”

Neil Self, Board Chair, Positive Living BC

“Positive Living BC’s place in this new building is especially important because we are the only HIV-agency in Canada governed exclusively by people living with HIV. We thank Wall Financial and the City of Vancouver for recognizing the important role we play in HIV health and for helping support people surviving this disease.”

Sarah Stewart, Executive Director, Aunt Leah’s Place 

“For nearly three decades, Aunt Leah’s Place has worked to prevent children in foster care from becoming homeless and mothers in need from losing custody of their chil¬dren, with a goal of creating an environment where all children connected to the foster care system have equal opportunities akin to what parented children receive. This City investment in Vancouver’s youth from foster care is an important part of an upstream effort in prevention of future