Checking rental math: how private sector rental construction in Vancouver increased 10-fold since 2008

Hard as it is for some people to believe, Vancouver’s Rental 100 program is driving dramatic increases in rental housing construction, now matter how you do the math.

Jak King, chair of the Grandview Woodlands Area Council, questions Vision Vancouver’s assertion that the city saw more than 1,000 units committted last year compared to zero in 2008.

But the numbers are clear in the city’s 2013 budget backgrounders, page 139. A few private sector rental units were delivered, a larger number of public sector ones as well, but the total new private sector rentals committed in 2008 and 2009: zero.

The CMHC calculation makes the same point with different numbers. The CMHC says 269 units of all types were delivered in 2008 and 780 in 2012. That, too, is a big increase.

King wonders how many were affordable. That depends on the building, but rental housing is inherently more affordable than home ownership, which is why it is so important to have more of it.