British Columbia

City of Vancouver approves Affordable Home Ownership Pilot Program

The City of Vancouver has approved a pilot project that aims to help moderate income earners buy homes in the city.

Pilot program to offer 300 homes at a discounted rate

The City of Vancouver hopes to co-own up to 300 houses with residents as part of a new pilot project called Affordable Home Ownership. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The City of Vancouver has approved a pilot project that aims to help moderate income earners buy homes in the city. 

It's called the Affordable Housing Ownership pilot program and it was approved by city council on Wednesday.

"This pilot program will help fill a gap in our housing market for working families," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a written statement.

"The city will continue to look at all options available to invest and improve affordability for our residents."

Under the program, the city plans to strike deals with developers to acquire 20 per cent ownership of 300 new units. It would then turn around and sell those units to buyers for a discounted price.

The city will need approval from the province to amend the Vancouver Charter — the city's provincial statute — to allow for the program. 

The report says the process should take at least eight months. 

But B.C. Community Development Minister Peter Fassbender previously said he wasn't warm on the idea of changing the charter for one issue. However, he did say he welcomed hearing from the city about its perspective. 

These are some preliminary criteria for prospective buyers:

  • Be a resident of Vancouver for the past five years.
  • At least one buyer must be employed.
  • Maximum household income for studio and one-bedroom units for singles and couples with no dependent children living at home, $67,540/year.
  • Maximum household income for two-or-more-bedroom units for single/dual parent families with dependent children living at home, $96,170/year.
  • Buyer must be the sole occupant, no renting allowed.