Original article posted on WesternInvestor.com June 10, 2020
A 177-year old fellowship has used a uniquely Vancouver solution to replace its aging seniors home with sleek new affordable housing
The Odd Fellows, founded 177 years ago as a private society for Canada’s elite, has struck a unique agreement with a real estate developer to deliver sleek new affordable housing for its senior members in East Vancouver.
On July 1 the Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society, formed in 1979, opens the doors on a mixed-use development that blends low-cost rental housing with strata retail using a contemporary Vancouver twist.
By leveraging its real estate, Odd Fellows has replaced its aging seniors’ housing facility at no cost, while continuing to provide affordable homes for its residents.
The Link complex, at 3583 Kingsway near the Vancouver-Burnaby border, features 104 new rental homes where rents start at $1,340 per month, 44 subsidized, affordable rentals for residents aged 55 or better, and ground floor retail, which is already fully sold.
The redevelopment of Odd Fellows Manor into a new, six-storey, mixed-use development is a partnership between the non-profit, Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society, Terra Special Projects, GBL Architects, the City of Vancouver and Hungerford Properties.
Odd Fellows will operate the 44 subsidized units and community space, as well as programs focused around recreation and wellness for its residents.
“Housing affordability is a big problem in Vancouver, and this project represents the wave of the future by showcasing what can happen when we work together to create affordable housing for those in need,” says Alex Fane, president of the Odd Fellows Low Rental Housing Society.
“We are grateful to be part of the solution by creating more affordable housing and providing diversified housing options in Vancouver,” said Michael Hungerford, partner at Hungerford Properties. “We are really proud of this project and the innovative partnership between the city, a non-profit, a private developer and a social purpose real estate consulting firm. We hope to be part of more collaborations like this in the coming years.”
Odd Fellows will own its non-market units, while Hungerford retains the market rental homes through a strata arrangement. Market rentals include studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments featuring stainless steel appliances and other contemporary finishings and in-suite laundry, a rooftop deck with amenities, bike storage and underground parking with plugs-in for electric vehicles. Link is a short walk to two SkyTrain stations in its Collingwood neighbourhood.
Hungerford is one of the first developers to combine social housing and market rentals in this unique partnership under the City of Vancouver’s Rental 100 program.The program encourages the development of rental projects with capped rental rates. The policy targets moderate-income households, and is part of a city goal of creating 5,000 new units of market rental housing by 2021.