VANCOUVER – The City of Vancouver has introduced a $25-million Community Housing Incentive Program (CHIP) funded by revenue from the Empty Homes Tax and the city’s capital budget.
The CHIP program will give housing providers grants to increase the affordability of co-op and social housing projects by providing capital contribution towards the project’s construction.
“As well as returning more homes to the rental market, the Empty Homes Tax is providing revenue to fund projects which will create new homes for people who need them in our city,” Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart said.
“We’re pleased to bring together local non-profit housing and co-op organizations and senior levels of government today – we’re strongest when we work together,” he added.
CHIP replaces the Housing Infrastructure Grant Program which supported 10 projects from 2015 to 2018 with $10.8 million in grants and enabled the delivery of 780 non-market homes according to the City of Vancouver.
The program provides in-principle funding commitments to projects based on the proposed number of homes, their type, the proposed affordability levels and the funding amount required.
As a project develops, the City of Vancouver stated on its website, funding commitments could be adjusted to reflect changes to project specifics such as the number or type of homes, updated cost assumptions or levels of affordability and the possibility of additional funding partner contributions.
The new CHIP program runs from 2019 t0 2022 and is part of the Housing Vancouver initiative which aims to curb speculative demand and increase support for renters and the homeless.