On July 12, 2019 the Brightside Community Homes Foundation, one of Vancouver, British Columbia’s oldest and largest affordable housing societies, announced that it plans to redevelop five of its current buildings in an effort to respond to Vancouver’s housing crisis.
The plan to build supports Brightside’s overarching goal to renew aging buildings and double the number of affordable homes it provides over the next decade. The proposed projects would double the number of units across the sites to more than 450 homes.
Brightside will prioritize support to existing residents while it pursues the creation of new homes that better meet the needs of residents aging-in-place, while improving environmental sustainability and access to affordable housing for those who need it the most.
Brightside’s CEO, William Azaroff, said, “Vancouver is experiencing a significant housing crisis, with limited supply of affordable housing in the most expensive city in Canada. Brightside’s mission is to ensure people of all income levels have a home within Vancouver. Our proposed projects would deliver a significant number of new affordable homes to address both a backlog and new growth, all while supporting our existing residents through the process.”
As a provider of affordable homes to seniors, people with disabilities and families, Brightside is proposing to redevelop the following properties:
- Loyal Orange Manor, 1425 East 12th Ave., Vancouver
- Edward Byers House, 1451 East 12th Avenue., Vancouver
- Alice Saunders, 2924 Venables St., Vancouver
- Macleod Manor, 8725 French St., Vancouver
- Mount Pleasant, 325 East 6th. Ave., Vancouver
The proposed range of new homes will offer a variety of below market rent options for different renter profiles depending on the type of project structure (shelter rates, Rent Geared to Income, and affordable market rates for seniors, families and people with disabilities).
Carolina Ibarra, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Brightside, said, “The people who call Brightside buildings home today will continue to be a part of the Brightside community, and will be able to call those same buildings home again in a few years’ time, while paying the same rents, having access better amenities and safety features that are more adequate for aging-in-place.”
Jill Atkey, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), added “Redevelopments in the community housing sector are critical to tackling the affordability crisis in a city like Vancouver with very limited new land space, and ambitious affordable housing targets.”
Brightside’s approach to community engagement will go beyond City of Vancouver requirements. Pursuing this renewal and growth plan will require a collaborative approach that includes support from all levels of government, other non-profit housing providers and public consultation.
During this proposed redevelopment process, the sites for Edward Byers and Loyal Orange Manor will be combined, meaning these five sites will be redeveloped into four new buildings.
Photos (courtesy of Brightside Community Homes Foundation) show Loyal Orange and Edward Byers residents getting a sneak peek of the proposed redevelopment design.