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

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

A vehicle incident is blocking the eastbound lanes on Lougheed Highway at Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge on Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Google)
TRAFFIC: Lougheed Highway cleared in Maple Ridge, expect congestion

Earlier, eastbound lanes at Jim Robson Way were closed

Horse riders are struggling to find parking for their vehicles and trailers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Crystal Ireland/Special to The News)
Petition for equestrian parking spaces in Maple Ridge park gets huge response

Horse riders say their parking lots have been overtaken by cars in Golden Ears Provincial Park

The Art Infiniti Hotel caught fire on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31, 2020) in Maple Ridge. Seven people were evacuated safely. (Barry Brinkman/Special to The News)
LETTER: Headline about Maple Ridge fire victim insensitive

Senior lost everything in Dec. 31 fire and letter writer felt denture reference inappropriate

Maple Ridge released its winter program guide recently. (Special to The News)
City unveils numerous winter programs and activities

Maple Ridge unveils guide that takes into consideration COVID-19

Corina Ardelean, right, and a volunteer wait for clients at Christian Life Assembly in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
Romanian refugees fulfill mission in Maple Ridge

Helping struggling families put food on the table

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

RCMP were called to the 5600 block of 201A Street just after midnight on Monday were they found a 27-year-old man in an underground parking garage who had sustained multiple shot wounds. (Lisa Farquharson/Langley Advance Times)
27-year-old taken to hospital after overnight targeted shooting in Langley

RCMP have not confirmed the incident is link to the Lower Mainland gang conflict

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

Most Read