Burnaby non-profit benefits from density bonus money

The City of Burnaby has allocated $1.6 million of its density bonus fund to the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI), securing its site on Banff Avenue “well into the future.”

The non-profit provides services to more than 1,000 children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in Metro Vancouver. It currently operates Filby Court, a two-storey, nine-unit apartment. There’s also a childcare centre on the site, which BACI has leased from the city since 1973.

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The density bonus money will subsidize the land and servicing costs. The 42-year lease renewal also means BACI can go forward with its construction plans.

As part of a nearly $4-million project, the charity wants to replace its aging childcare facility with a mixed-use building. A childcare space would be offered on the ground floor and nine non-market housing units would be built above. Another six non-market rental units are proposed at the southeast corner of the property.

“We’re so pleased to receive that subsidy,” said Richard Faucher, BACI’s co-executive director. “It’s wonderful to be able to partner with the city and B.C. Housing and to make this happen. We’re very, very happy.”

Faucher added the non-profit has secured $2.46 million from B.C. Housing but still has to go through the city’s rezoning process.

Meanwhile, about 30 per cent of the non-market housing units will be offered at a shelter rate, he said, and would equal about $375 for a one bedroom and $650 for two bedrooms.

“We met with hundreds of people that we serve and housing is an issue, particularly affordable housing,” said Faucher. “This was a property that we’ve been on for a long time that allows us to build those units.”

He said the units will be offered to people on BACI’s waitlist and any remaining spots will be filled by other non-profits.

He noted the organization’s childcare will be moving to a local church on July 1 while crews work. The hope is to have the 3755 Banff Ave. site finished by the fall of 2018.

The Community Benefit Bonus Policy was established in 1997 and currently sits around the $40 million mark, according to Coun. Colleen Jordan. It allows the city to provide community amenities, such as parks, public gathering spaces and civic facilities, by allowing additional residential densities within Burnaby’s town centres.

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