On September 19, Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution to submit a ballot measure to voters that, if approved, would replace the City’s current Affordable Housing Fund Levy that expires at the end of 2023.
“We’ve had tremendously rewarding and positive results over the last six years with the voter-approved Affordable Housing Fund," said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “The levy has supported well over 1,000 units of affordable housing, provided rental assistance and services to prevent homelessness for more than 1,400 households and created or supported hundreds of temporary shelter beds, but our work is not done. With a continued housing deficit and rising costs, our housing emergency is still very real, and we are asking voters to consider a replacement levy to provide continued funding.”
The replacement levy will be on the ballot for the special election scheduled for February 14, 2023. The proposition seeks voter approval to replace the expiring levy with a property tax levy of approximately $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed value per property owner. The proposed levy replacement would raise $10 million annually, totaling $100 million over a period of 10 years starting in 2024.
If approved, the levy would provide dedicated funding for housing and housing services for people with low and very-low income, including those with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and families with children. The replacement levy, if approved, is projected to assist 2,500 households with rent assistance and housing services, help 150 households with home ownership, preserve or construct 2,400 affordable units, and support 550 shelter beds over the life of the levy.
Over the seven-year lifetime of the current levy that will expire in 2023, $42 million will have been raised. To date, the current levy has awarded $36,041,884 to support 52 projects related to the construction, acquisition, and preservation of affordable housing as well as rental assistance, and temporary shelter for Vancouver residents earning less than 50% of the area’s median income. Over the lifetime of the current levy, 1,064 units of affordable housing have been produced or preserved with support from the Affordable Housing Fund, 1,409 households have received rental assistance and services to prevent homelessness, and 405 temporary shelter beds have been created or supported with operating costs. Funding generated in the final year of this levy has been allocated to housing production and preservation as well as ongoing rental assistance programs and temporary shelter for people who are homeless.
“The burden of the affordable housing crisis is very real for many Vancouver residents,” said Councilor Diana Perez. “Many households with low and very low income are at risk in their current living situation, struggling to keep pace with housing and other cost of living expenses. The City is committed to continuing and strengthening its work in supporting safe, affordable housing and services for those most vulnerable in our community."
Source: City of Vancouver