The Government of Canada announced nearly $150 million in fully repayable low-interest loans through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi) to build more than 364 purpose-built rental homes across three developments in Vancouver.
The announcement took place at Evolve, located near the University of British Columbia (UBC) at 3518 Wesbrook Mall. It followed Sean Fraser’s, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, August 16 visit to Vancouver when he announced nearly $500 million for over 1110 units, including the three projects announced today.
“We are working with all levels of government, non-profit organizations and with the private sector to increase housing supply. Through strategic investments, like the one announced today which will help build 364 purpose-built units in Vancouver, we are helping to increase housing supply across Canada so that all Canadians have a safe place that they are proud to call home,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.
The Evolve project offers 110 rental units for faculty and staff at the university. Evolve received Passive House Certification, an internationally recognized building certification that provides third-party verification and a stamp of quality assurance that a building meets the high performance and comfort levels of the Passive House standard. The project received a $44.2 million RCFi low-interest loan from the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and $3.5 million from Natural Resources Canada. UBC contributed $15.1 million in land equity. Construction was completed in August 2022 and the project is fully leased.
Mundell House, also located near UBC at 6038 Birney Avenue, offers 136 rental units for faculty and staff at the university. The project received a $46.4 million RCFi low-interest loan from the federal government through CMHC. UBC contributed $23.6 million in land equity. Amenities for residents include a bicycle room, a communal courtyard and rooftop amenity space. Construction was completed in August 2020 and the project is fully leased.
“From young students moving out for the first time, to families moving into a new community, to seniors downsizing, Canadian renters of all ages are impacted by shortages and rising costs of housing. Through investments in projects like the ones announced today, our government is increasing the supply of new rental developments that are accessible to public transit and offer the option to live closer to where they work or go to school,” said Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra.
Located at 3619 and 3681 Arbutus Street, 19 on the Greenway will be developed into two separate rental buildings and will offer 118 units for Vancouver residents. The project received a $59 million RCFi low-interest loan from the federal government through CMHC and PCI Developments contributed $30.7 million in cash equity. The project is located across the street from the Arbutus Greenway which is well serviced by public transit through frequent bus service, as well as the future Broadway Transit line. Construction is expected to complete in March 2025.
“Given the increasingly challenging conditions related to construction and financing costs, programs like the Rental Construction Financing Initiative are instrumental in the continued delivery of high quality, sustainable, purpose-built rental housing. As the wait list for housing at UBC continues to grow, the need for more rental housing is ever present. Thanks to this program, 246 much needed new homes will now be available at below market rents to the UBC community. UBC Properties Trust is proud to work with the federal government and CMHC in expanding the supply of affordable rental homes,” said David Poettcker, Director of Development, UBC Properties Trust.
Featured image: Evolve, located near the University of British Columbia at 3518 Wesbrook Mall, offers 110 rental units for faculty and staff. (CNW Group/Government of Canada)