Tall & Urban News

Vanouver Government Buys Homes Near Train Station for Potential Development of High Density Affordable Housing

Photo by Haruki Suzuki on Unsplash
Photo by Haruki Suzuki on Unsplash
28 March 2024 | Vancouver, Canada

Eleven single-family houses by the the SkyTrain Nanaimo Station in Vancouver were bought by the Government of British Columbia. It is expected that property will become a major affordable housing development under the provincial government’s legislated transit-oriented development (TOD) guidelines. This requires that the municipal government to permit heights of at least 20 stories and floor area ratio (FAR) densities of a total building floor area that is at least five times the size of the lot for sites within 200 meters of a SkyTrain station.

The sale of the residences were a court-ordered sale. The possible plan for developing it into affordable housing is part of the provincial government’s strategy for BC Transportation Authority in which legislation was amended in 2022 to enable BC Transportation Authority to acquire land next to public transit hubs to build more affordable housing and community benefits. Prior to the legislation changes, BC Transportation Authority was only legally able to acquire and expropriate the required land to build transportation infrastructure.

This includes utilizing the excess lands held by BC Transportation Authority not used for building transportation infrastructure projects, which is the case for the major surface parking lots immediately south of SkyTrain Moody Centre Station in Port Moody. In November 2023, the provincial government announced it will build a significant rental housing complex on these parking lots, which were originally used as construction staging and storage areas for the Millennium Line’s Evergreen Extension.

Based on the latest available statistics, in 2022, Nanaimo Station was the 26th busiest station out of the total network of 53 SkyTrain stations, with 1.82 million annual boardings, and averages of 5,450 boardings per weekday, 4,600 boardings per Saturday, and 3,500 boardings per Sunday/holiday.

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