The city’s biggest community resource for tackling low-income housing will expire at the end of 2023 unless voters agree to renew it.
In 2016, Vancouver voters approved a property tax to raise $42 million over seven years to fund affordable housing initiatives, or about $6 million a year. In its first five years, the Affordable Housing Fund helped produce 501 affordable housing units, preserve 321 units and provided housing assistance to 1,144 households, according to a staff report.
Today, the need for these investments is greater than before.
To close the city’s housing deficit within 10 years, there must be an annual increase in housing production of at least 2,500 new homes, including 750 new affordable homes, said programs manager Samantha Whitley. of city housing. A renewed fund would focus on very low-income households, those earning 50% or less of the region’s median income, and create homeownership programs that emphasize home repairs.
At a workshop on Monday, staff presented options for ballot measures for consideration by Vancouver City Council, three of which would ask voters to renew the fund at a higher amount.
Members of the advisory committee leading the levy renewal process have recommended pursuing the launch of a larger fund based on the success of the current fund, said Alishia Topper, Clark County Treasurer and committee member. The Affordable Housing Fund has raised an additional $250 million in capital from federal, local state and private sources by investing $35.25 million in various projects.