A 164-unit, six-storey rental building can rise on the 3100 block of Ozada Avenue between Pipeline Road and Inlet Street following a unanimous final vote from Coquitlam council Monday.

Critics of the project might suggest the 1980s-era, 57-unit Pinetree Court currently occupying the site was perfectly good housing that shouldn’t be torn down, acknowledged Mayor Richard Stewart.

“It wasn’t,” Stewart said, adding that many older rentals in Coquitlam need to be replaced. It’s a mistake to conflate age with affordability when it comes to housing, he continued.

“Degradation isn’t affordable, it’s just low priced.”

First right of refusal: Pinetree Court tenants, some of whom have lived in the building as long as 28 years, will have the chance to move into the new building at their current rent plus inflation.

New rates: Operated by Affordable Housing Societies, rents in the new project are slated to range from $375 for a one-bedroom to $2,695 for a three-bedroom, according to a letter from AHS CEO Stephen Bennett. The development is tentatively slated to open in 2023.

B.C. Housing is set to contribute $7.4 million to fund 74 units. However, there is no federal funding – a fact that rankled Coun. Dennis Marsden.

Are you there Ottawa? It’s me, Coquitlam: Marsden suggested council consider a policy that would encourage the federal government to: “open their eyes to how business really works.”

Earlier involvement from senior levels of government would mean greater certainty for the developer and a net result of more housing approvals and more housing, Marsden contended.

Breakdown (of the 74 units supported by B.C. Housing):

  • 15 units at shelter rates
  • 37 at rent geared to income
  • 22 at “low end of market rental rates”

The other 90 units are set to be offered as non-market rental units with rent subsidized through Affordable Housing Societies. Coquitlam is set to chip in $3.3 million to help fund the project.

Breakdown (of the whole building)

  • 65 one-bedroom units (23 accessible)
  • 69 two-bedroom units
  • 30 three-bedroom units
  • 134-stall underground parkade
  • Money: The project is expected to generate $1.52 million in development cost charges and $267,900 in voluntary contributions.

The rules:

  • The units must remain rental for the life of the building.
  • Airbnb and other short-term rentals are prohibited.