The federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, has announced a more than $45 million conditional funding commitment to jump-start a new affordable rental housing project in South Surrey.
The six-storey, 118-unit development, Alden – a project of Porte Communities – will be located at 1881 152 St.
Official announcement of the funding was made at the site on Friday by South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordie Hogg, representing Families, Children and Social Development minister Jean-Yves Duclos – minister responsible for CMHC – along with Porte Communities president David Porte and Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai.
The $45.38 million boost comes through the federal Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a national housing strategy program delivered by the CMHC, designed to support affordable rental housing construction projects as a means of providing a stable supply of housing for middle class families that have struggled to survive in expensive housing markets like Metro Vancouver and Toronto.
Under the initiative, Porte must ensure that 94 out of the 118 units must have rents at or below 30 per cent of the median income in the area.
Hogg said this would work out to approximately $1,400 per month for a one bedroom unit ranging up to some $2,000 for a two bedroom-plus-den unit at the Alden development.
“This fills a niche in the market for those who don’t qualify for financial assistance for housing,” he said.
Porte told press, company and CMHC representatives and assembled dignitaries – including Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek, who is also interested in accessing RCFi funding for similar projects in her community – that the building is expected to receive final building permits from Surrey so that it can begin construction by November this year, with completion due in late 2o21.
Hogg told Peace Arch News following the announcement that the federal funding for such projects is essentially a loan, designed to provide developers crucial incentive financing to move forward with affordable rental housing projects.
“The idea is that ultimately it doesn’t cost government and taxpayers that much,” he said.
The project has been designed to achieve energy-efficiency savings of 15.5 per cent and greenhouse gas emission reductions of 23.9 per cent less than 2015 model building codes.
“It will be affordable, energy-efficient and accessible housing,” Hogg said.
Porte said Alden was originally intended as a condominium project, but when the company learned of the RCFi program “we jumped at it.”
Porte said it not only fits in with his company’s commitment to helping build community in South Surrey, but also dovetails into the company’s role in managing some 500 existing rental suites, providing an up-to-date rental alternative to complement existing older buildings.
He noted that the site is part of land purchased over 40 years ago by his father and his partners, and that the building will join other older developments built by Porte in the immediate vicinity of 18 Avenue and 152 Street.
“This site is the final piece of that property,” he said.