Plans for a new affordable rental housing development in Maple Ridge. (Black Press Media files)

More units needed in Maple Ridge to relieve rental crisis

Advocates call for 500 new units in Maple Ridge

The rental vacancy rate, and the rising cost of housing, has created a crisis for renters in the Lower Mainland.

An advocacy group says Maple Ridge needs more than 500 additional rental units, and the region almost $17,000.

The situation has reached a point where the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in a new report, is calling for 10,000 units of non-market rental housing each year.

It would cost $2.5 billion per year.

The situation is dire for low-income households, says the report.

“In Metro Vancouver’s 70 neighbourhoods, there isn’t a single area where a full-time minimum-wage worker could afford the average one-bedroom apartment,” says a release from the CCPA.

READ ALSO: 10,000 affordable rentals a year needed to tackle Metro Vancouver housing crisis

In November, Vancouver had the priciest two-bedroom rentals in Canada at just over $3,000 per month, after a 6.5 per cent increase in the last year, according to a December rent report from Rentals.ca.

Looking at rental listings for Maple Ridge on Craigslist, the average rent listed for a two-bedroom unit is $1,400, based on the most recent 20 properties listed.

This ranges from a low of $1,200 to a high of $1,950.

“The new mortgage stress test, higher interest rates and home prices have dramatically increased the number of people looking for rental accommodation this year,” said Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca.

He added many young couples and families have postponed purchasing a home, which has driven two-bedroom rental rates up.

The B.C. Rental Project said the B.C. government pledged 114,000 affordable units, but has built just 1,265.

There are, however, another 5,878 under construction.

It said Maple Ridge needs another 530 rental units to rise from about one per cent vacancy to a healthier three per cent vacancy.

Across the region, the need is 16,667 more units, says the Rental Project.

READ ALSO: Rents as low as $375 per month at new Maple Ridge affordable housing complex

Their site gives Maple Ridge credit for its housing action plan, which includes increased support for initiatives that improve housing choice and affordability.

The city also has incentives for rental buildings in tax exemptions, parking relaxation and lower development cost charges.

However, B.C. Rental Project is critical of the city for not allowing developers to add affordable units in exchange for increased density, and also for not allowing 13 market rental apartments and three affordable rental apartments as part of a density bonus for a 153-unit condo development on 227th Street.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge proceeds with new condos for 227th Street


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Over 600 Pitt Meadows citizens sign petition to protest North Lougheed development

Petition requests more environmental information before development decisions carried out

Pass slow and wide, please

Maple Ridge mom pleads with drivers to show care after daughter falls from spooked pony on 132nd Ave

Mounties collar suspect after shots ring out in Maple Ridge

Weekend incident on 227th Street leads police to Surrey for one arrest and gathering of evidence

‘Just getting to know Maple Ridge’: local resident discovers historical markers

Belle Morse Park was named after the former mayor who also served as a city councillor

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read