New homes on the way for arts, culture professionals in New Westminster


November 8, 2019

NEW WESTMINSTER – People who are working in or retired from B.C.’s performing arts and entertainment industry will soon have access to 66 affordable rental homes, so they can continue to live in their community.

Located at 831 Carnarvon St., the new development is under construction as part of a partnership between the Province, PAL Vancouver and Vintop Development Corporation.

“This unique project will give people in our community the peace of mind that comes with safe and secure housing — something that every British Columbian deserves,” said Judy Darcy, MLA for New Westminster. “It is a great example of how working with community partners, we can build affordable homes for people from all walks of life across B.C.”

The Province is providing $7.4 million to help build the eight-storey building, which will provide 25 studios and 41 one-bedroom units for those from arts-oriented professions with low to moderate incomes. Priority will be given to seniors and people with disabilities.

PAL Vancouver will be the operator. The non-profit organization was established in 2001 to provide long-standing members of performing arts professions with affordable housing in a vibrant community.

Vintop Development Corporation is contributing $2 million to the project.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture —

“Performing arts help us discover the commonalities that bind us together as people, creating more resilient and inclusive communities. The affordable housing crisis has hurt everyone in B.C., and this is one way we can give back to people who have dedicated their lives to bringing us entertainment and enrichment.”

Mike Klassen, board president, PAL Vancouver —

“It is widely acknowledged that the work done by arts and culture professionals enriches our communities and that housing affordability is an acute challenge for many who work in the arts. With the generous support of our partners, many people from this important cultural sector will have access to affordable housing in New Westminster’s vibrant downtown neighbourhood.”

Jonathan Coté, mayor, City of New Westminster —

“The City of New Westminster is committed to working with our non-profit partners, the development industry and senior levels of government to create new affordable housing, which meets the full spectrum of needs in our community. This project, and others like it, demonstrates the power of partnership and the need for creative and shared solutions if we are to succeed in addressing the region’s housing affordability crisis.”

Luke Yu, president, Vintop Development Corporation —

“We at Vintop Development and Domus Homes are proud to partner with BC Housing and the City of New Westminster to bring the Performing Arts Lodge to New Westminster. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to develop Ovation and performing artists living space with BC Housing. It has been our honour to be able to contribute towards housing for artists who have been persistently pursuing their dreams their entire lives.”

Quick Facts:

  • In addition to the 66 affordable rental homes under construction on Carnarvon St., the Province is working in partnership to build 44 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in New Westminster.
  • To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.'s housing market and helping build 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
  • The B.C. government is making the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.

Learn More:

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: 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 British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/

PAL Vancouver currently operates a 111-unit affordable housing and theatre complex in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighbourhood. To learn more about PAL, visit: http://palvancouver.org/

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Darren Harbord
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 882-8518

Mike Klassen
Board President
PAL Vancouver
mike@mikeklassen.net

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org

BACKGROUNDER

Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.

Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live, from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) – approximately 4,120 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
  • HousingHub: approximately 2,620 homes.

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable; to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) – approximately 9,320 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: approximately 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
  • Regional Housing First Program: approximately 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) – approximately 3,060 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: approximately 800 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Regional Housing First Program: approximately 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.

Housing for women and children leaving violence – approximately 360 homes:

  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.

Housing for students – approximately 5,600 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
  • Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

Total: approximately 22,460 homes

Media Contacts:

Darren Harbord
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 882-8518

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org