The Affordable Housing Reserve Fund (AHRF) was established in January of 2009. This Council-adopted policy contributes towards potential affordable housing solutions across the housing continuum. Based on a continuation of the current density bonus system, the AHRF could grow to reach $20 to 25 million over the next 30 to 35 years (depending on development activity). Evaluation of the AHRF will occur every two years through a Housing Affordability updated report to Council and a time-and-value trigger (every three years or $7 million positive balance).
Council provided and rezoned City-owned land at 3030 Gordon Avenue for an emergency shelter and transitional housing facility to serve the Tri-Cities. The City worked closely with RainCity Housing, the shelter operator; City Spaces Consulting; and DYS Architects to ensure the facility design and operation addressed issues of neighbourhood fit, safety and security. The facility opened in mid-December of 2015 and includes thirty emergency shelter beds and 30 transitional (short stay) housing units and associated support services are provided onsite. The building can also provide shelter space for an additional 30 individuals during periods of extreme weather alerts.
Council provided and rezoned City-owned land at 528 Como Lake Avenue for a supportive housing project for single mothers and their children who are at-risk of homelessness. With the City land, a capital grant of $7.3 million from the Province, a mortgage from BC Housing and $1 million raised by the YWCA, this project became a reality. The 30-unit facility opened on November 9, 2012 and is operated by the YWCA of Metro Vancouver. The women and their children at Como Lake Gardens have access to a wide range of integrated YWCA services that enable them to transition out of poverty and move closer to economic independence.
In July 2017, Council voted to grant $177,545 from the City’s Affordable Housing Reserve Fund towards 14 below-market (subsidized) rental units in a new 67-unit rental building for seniors in partnership with the Finnish Canadian Rest Home Association at 1226 Johnson Street.
In July 2017, Council approved a $600,000 grant from the Affordable Housing Reserve Fund to the Talitha Koum Society to jointly purchase a home (which will then be leased back to Talitha Koum at no charge) to provide transitional housing to women with addictions and their children. The house opened in 2018 after renovations were completed.
In July 2014, Council approved a rezoning and development permit at 520 Como Lake Avenue and density transfer from 528 Como Lake Avenue. The proposed development included a 26-storey market apartment building and a 3-storey, 7-unit, non-market family housing townhouse building. The non-market townhomes are managed by the adjoining YWCA facility at 528 Como Lake Avenue. In addition to the new non-market housing, the project includes a new indoor amenity space adjacent to the townhouses for the YWCA that is shared between the earlier units at 528 Como Lake Avenue and the new units.
Further to a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) process, the City of Coquitlam selected Habitat for Humanity of Greater Vancouver as the successful proponent to build affordable housing on City-owned land at 1358 Coast Meridian Road The units will provide an opportunity for affordable home ownership for modest income families who are currently renting and would normally not qualify for a traditional mortgage. In January 2019, the City announced a formal Memorandum of Understanding with Habitat to move this project forward.