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Affordable, sustainable homes coming for Vancouver

Vancouver Thursday, February 15, 2024 9:10 AM

Construction is underway on the seven-storey, 123-unit Vienna House project, creating affordable and sustainable homes for individuals, seniors, people living with disabilities, and families in Vancouver.  

“This affordable-housing project is providing individuals and families with 123 safe and environmentally responsive homes, so people can stay in the community they know,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Our Homes for People action plan is all about increasing housing supply faster, so everyone can find a home that suits their needs, and it is partner projects like this that are helping us reach our housing goals.”

The project at 2001 Stainsbury Ave. is the result of a partnership between BC Housing, City of Vancouver and More than a Roof Housing Society. Vienna House will combine shelter, low-income and market rentals to provide a mix of housing options, including 29 studio units, 37 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units, 16 three-bedroom units and six four-bedroom units.

Ten per cent of the units will be accessible for people living with disabilities and all units will be adaptable.

“Thank you to Vancouver for making the land available for Vienna House, so we can bring 123 much-needed rental homes to Vancouver,” said Adrian Dix, MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway. “I know these will make a huge difference in the lives of the families and people who move in, and look forward to seeing more homes like these built in B.C., so more people can access homes they can afford.”

Vienna House is a partnership between the cities of Vancouver and Vienna, Austria, and includes a research agreement with University of British Columbia (UBC). The cities and researchers are collaborating to make innovations in the sustainable design of affordable housing.

Vienna House will achieve significant sustainability goals. Using mass timber and prefabricated wall, floor and ceiling components will reduce emissions during construction, store carbon and contribute to diverting 75% of construction waste from landfills. Achieving Passive House certification will represent an annual energy-use reduction of approximately 52%. Using electric appliances and hot water will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 90%. Research partners at UBC will build a digital twin of the building to test and optimize components and systems, such as passive airflow.

“Vienna House embodies our commitment to innovative, sustainable solutions in tackling Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis,” said Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver. “Through strong partnerships and a focus on energy-efficient design, we’re not just building homes, but shaping a future where affordable living is a reality for all Vancouverites.”

Vienna House will be located in the heart of a vibrant, family-friendly neighbourhood in East Vancouver. Residents will be a short walk from services, schools, public transit, Trout Lake Community Centre and park, and the Commercial Drive entertainment district.

“Vienna House will benefit generations of British Columbians as a model to test Design for Disassembly strategy,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “By designing for both modular component replacement, as well as end-of-life disassembly rather than demolition, means that we can recycle and reuse many of the components of the building, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Through collaboration with UBC, this approach will help us protect our environment by using sustainable building components, yield significant reductions in climate pollution, as well as costs for residents.”

More than a Roof Housing Society will own and operate the building on a 60-year lease from the City of Vancouver.

“More Than a Roof is proud to partner on this innovative affordable-housing project,” said Lee Anne Michayluk, COO, More than a Roof Housing Society. “Access to world-class communities that are affordable, climate resilient and promote social sustainability through thoughtful design should be available to everyone.”

Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2025, with residents moving in shortly thereafter.

The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 78,000 homes delivered or underway, including nearly 8,000 homes in Vancouver.

Quick Facts:

  • BC Housing is providing approximately $22.2 million though two funding programs: Building BC: Community Housing Fund ($13.84 million) and a Cost Pressure Grant ($8.36 million).
  • The City of Vancouver will support the project with more than $13 million in combined land equity and waivers.
  • Approximately 20% of the units, 25 homes, will be rented at shelter rates for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
  • Approximately 50% of the units, 61 homes, will have rent geared to income.
  • Approximately 30% of the units, 37 homes, will be affordable market rentals, tied to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation average market rent.

Learn More:

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available here: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

To learn more about Vienna House and the partnerships involved in this project, visit: https://viennahouse.ca

This is on Govt of Canada website go to the link here

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