Affordable housing plan in Terrace outlined

It's part of a land sales deal between the city and developer

City council passed a special bylaw through first, second and third reading last night that will govern the number of affordable housing units in a planned development located at the corner of Park and Kenney.

The bylaw stipulates that Coast to Coast Holding Ltd., a Calgary-based real estate company that is financially-backed by a Quebec investment firm called ROI Land Investments Ltd., must include 22 affordable apartment units out of a total of 105 and be priced at 20 per cent below regular rental rates.

The affordable units will be one and two bedrooms.

The development is on a large lot sold by the city to Coast to Coast this spring and the affordable housing requirement was included in the sales deal.

City officials say the affordable housing plan was one of the reasons the company was chosen out of a handful of other bidders all wanting to purchase the 2.4 acre piece of prime real estate.

Coast to Coast is required to have an accredited independent appraiser assess the average cost to rent the same type of apartment in Terrace, which is then reduced by 20 per cent.

To be eligible, a potential renter must be able to prove that they earn no more than four times the rental price of the affordably priced apartment.

Not included in the bylaw are rules about who of any eligible applicants get priority for moving into the 22 units offered at reduced price, and mayor Dave Pernarowski said that property managers hired by Coast to Coast would make that decision.

The bylaw does state that Coast to Coast can “sub-contract the operation and management of the affordable rental units to a qualified and reputable provider of affordable housing, provided that any such sub-contract and affordable housing provider is preapproved by the city.”

Coast to Coast is also planning another development on a lot immediately east of this one on Park Ave. for 70-75 units, as well as a townhouse complex of eight units immediately north.

The parcel sold by the city and the one to the east were once the location of a provincial highways ministry maintenance yard.

Director of development services David Block told council that he had received confirmation from the city’s corporate land manager, Herb Dusdal, that Coast to Coast seems pleased with the draft of the affordable housing bylaw.

Adoption of the bylaw will happen at a future council meeting but Block said that he had “received confirmation from Mr. Dusdal that they [Coast to Coast] have accepted the bylaw as is.”

Construction of the 105 unit apartment building is expected to begin sometime this year pending financing arrangements through ROI.

The development will have the street address of 3304 Kenney St.