For Immediate Release: February 15, 2011
Councillors call for affordable rentals in proposed Coast Plaza Hotel rezoning
COPE Councillors Ellen Woodsworth and David Cadman are calling for the proposed rezoning of the West End’s Coast Plaza Hotel to include a substantial level of affordable rental units. The current proposal, which Council will decide today whether to send to public hearing, contains no guarantee of affordability in an already tight housing market.
“Over 80% of West End residents are renters, and affordable rental solutions need to be brought to the table if we are to insure this remains a wonderful and viable community,” said Councillor David Cadman. “This building is already here,” he said, “What we are asking for is a significant number of units to be meet the affordability test.”
Housing affordability is generally defined in Vancouver as costing less than 30% of one’s monthly income. In the West End, with a median income of approximately $38,000 a year, housing affordability would start at a rate of approximately $950 a month.
Councillor Ellen Woodsworth pointed out that nothing had been done on affordable, non-market rentals in Vancouver since the last election. “We’ve spent far too much time talking about market rentals,” said Woodsworth, “What the West End really needs, especially seniors, is affordable rentals.”
COPE is proposing that at least 50% of the proposed units in the rezoned Coast Plaza be enshrined as affordable with a signed covenant between the owners and the City.