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Insight: REIBC blog > Below-Market Housing, Partnerships, and Community

Below-Market Housing, Partnerships, and Community

posted on 10:34 AM, September 13, 2019
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Hannelore in Vancouver, a below-market rental housing project. Credit: Catalyst

Rental housing, both market and below-market, is in critically short supply in BC.

“There are nearly 7,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in BC, with an estimated demand backlog of 80,000 new rental units, while another 117,000 households need help affording the rent where they currently live,” writes Robert Brown, president of Catalyst Community Developments Society. “It is clear that the demand for affordable housing is not being met by the traditional supply.”

Founded in 2013, Catalyst is a mission-driven non-profit real estate developer, owner, and landlord. Catalyst builds affordable homes, targeting households earning gross incomes of $20,000 to $80,000 a year. The organization, which has affordable rental housing projects like Madrona at Dockside Green in Victoria and Hannelore in Vancouver to its credit, believes that by “…creating, owning, and operating below-market rental housing…we are showing that the non-profit sector can deliver beautiful, affordable, inclusive, and sustainable homes for people that are a key part of our community.”

Catalyst works with other non-profits to access the value of their real estate assets, which is then reinvested in community-owned affordable housing projects and community spaces.

“We help our non-profit partners achieve long-term financial sustainability by ensuring that they retain a substantial ownership interest in their property assets over the long-term,” writes Brown. “This also results in these important community-owned lands remaining in community hands, building capacity and resiliency in the non-profit sector overall.”

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Download Summer 2019

Read more about Catalyst’s approach to community building in Brown’s “Below-Market Rental Housing Builds Community” in the Summer 2019 edition of Input. Download Summer 2019

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