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More rental housing on horizon in Delta?

The upcoming Housing Action Plan will identify specific strategies and actions that can be implemented by the city
Garry Street apartment
The apartment complex for sale is directly across from Memorial Park and Delta Secondary School.

An older 16-unit, two-storey apartment building in Ladner is on the market for just under $5 million.

Located at the corner of Garry Street and 47 Avenue, the Parkview Gardens is listed by Goodman Commercial Inc. as an extremely well-maintained apartment building that was built in 1972.

Zoned for low-rise apartment developments, it remains to be seen if a new owner intends to keep Parkview Gardens, which has undergone upgrades, in its current use, or if the corner lot will be the subject of a future rezoning and redevelopment proposal.

The City of Delta is currently working on coming up with a Housing Action Plan and encouraging more rental housing is one of the key objectives.

In the works for a couple of years, the plan is to come back to council later this year for approval.

One of the recommendations in the draft plan, previously presented to council, is that the city formalize incentives through a comprehensive package for market rental, non-market rental, supportive housing and accessible units.

Another recommendation is to provide protections for existing tenants and ensure a healthy stock of rental of different affordability levels.

Approximately 21 per cent of Delta households rent their home and across Metro Vancouver, the high cost of home ownership has resulted in the number of owner households growing more slowly than the number of renter households, a report on the draft plan notes.

“For example, between 2006 and 2016, the number of renter households in Delta grew by 20 per cent while the number of owner households grew by only three per cent. If this trend continues, a greater proportion of rental units will be needed. If this rate of growth continues, approximately 300 units of rental housing will be needed between 2021 and 2026 to meet the needs of population and housing growth,” the report states.

Meanwhile, affordable units that are below market rents are challenging to build because the cost of land and construction can make these projects financially unfeasible or unattractive from an investment standpoint, the report adds.

A previous staff report also noted ownership is not always an option for low and moderate income households, making the availability of purpose-built rental housing important.

A large component of Delta’s current rental market are secondary suites or the renting of individually owned condos or townhouses, but secondary rentals cannot be considered secure long-term housing options nor are they necessarily affordable, that report adds.

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