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Port Moody contributes more than $527,000 to affordable housing project for St. Johns Street
Posted Date: October 10, 2018

affordable housing

Port Moody City Council has approved a grant in the amount of $527,796 for the development of 55 affordable rental housing units at 2318 St. Johns Street. The grant was awarded to Catalyst Community Developments Society and St. Andrew’s Port Moody Housing Society through the City’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund.

“Affordable housing is an important issue for Council and for Port Moody residents,” said Mayor Mike Clay. “We’re pleased to support this project, which will provide housing options for low-income or moderate-income households and for people with developmental disabilities. The Affordable Housing Reserve Fund was created with this kind of project in mind. We commend Catalyst Community Developments Society, St. Andrew’s Port Moody Housing Society, Kinsight, and funding partner BC Housing for their vision and their commitment to deliver below-market rental housing for liveable communities.”

The affordable rental housing units are part of a mixed-use project being developed by Catalyst Community Developments Society and St. Andrew’s Port Moody Housing Society, with partners Kinsight, SHARE Family and Community Services, and BC Housing. BC Housing issued a media release in March 2017 announcing provincial funding of $5 million.

The project will include a new building for St. Andrew’s United Church, as well as program, community, and office space for Kinsight and SHARE Family and Community Services. The majority of the space for Kinsight and SHARE will be used for a children’s centre to deliver early intervention programs for families of children and youth with developmental delays and disabilities.

“Catalyst is very excited to be in partnership with St. Andrews United Church and Kinsight to create a vibrant project including a new church, below-market rental housing, and non-profit program space,” said Robert Brown, President of Catalyst Community Developments Society. “We have seen many communities, including Port Moody, struggle with the impacts of high-cost housing. Individuals and families are having to pay an unsupportable portion of their income on housing and this is putting incredible stress on these residents and on the community as a whole. The support of the City, including their significant contribution from the Affordable Housing Reserve, is a critical part of making this important project a reality."

“The vision for the children’s centre is to be an accessible and welcoming hub for the growing number of families in the region who require our support,” said Kinsight CEO Christine Scott. “Kinsight and SHARE will create an integrated, one-stop facility that includes infant and child development programs, early intervention therapies, youth services, and community space. We are grateful to the City for its support of affordable housing that is inclusive of all citizens.”

“St. Andrew’s United Church has been serving Port Moody since the late 1800s,” said Reverend Julie Lebrun. “In our current building since 1957, we are excited to transform our building to include affordable housing, our new partners, and new church space to serve a growing Port Moody. Our worship, programs, and church office will continue during construction time in new locations. We are very grateful to the City of Port Moody for contributing to this project. Together we can do great things for Port Moody.”

The project at 2318 St. Johns Street will feature:
• 51 units targeted to low- and moderate-income households with gross annual incomes ranging from $30,000 (studio units) to $68,000 (three-bedroom units), based on BC Housing’s 2018 Housing Income Limits;
• affordable rents that would range from $750 per month for studios to $1,700 per month for three-bedroom homes, based on BC Housing’s 2018 Housing Income Limits; and
• four units for people with developmental disabilities who are supported by Kinsight, a non-profit society that works alongside families of children, youth, and adults with developmental delays and disabilities to increase their opportunities for growth – these units will be rented at shelter rates (currently $375 per month for a studio and $750 per month for a two-bedroom home based on double occupancy);
• 2,200m² (23,680ft²) of program, community and office space for Kinsight and SHARE Family and Community Services; and
• a new, 540m² (5,812.5ft²) building for St. Andrew’s United Church.

At a Regular Meeting of Council on October 9, 2018, Council approved the development permit application and adopted a series of bylaws (Official Community Plan amendment bylaw, rezoning bylaw, and housing agreement bylaw) that will allow the project to proceed. Construction is set to begin this fall, once the developer has obtained all necessary City permits.

The City of Port Moody’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (AHRF) was created in 2008 to encourage developers to include affordable housing units in new development projects. It is a part of the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy. The AHRF may be used to support eligible development projects that include affordable housing for low- and moderate-income family and single-occupant households.

The AHRF may be used for the following:
• the acquisition of land by the City for affordable housing projects;
• the leasing of land at below-market rates for affordable housing projects;
• to offset development application and building permit fees associated with a qualifying project; and
• to offset development cost charges, or any other such amenity-related contributions to which the project would be subject.

The money set aside in the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund, which now totals $473,217, comes from developer contributions.