In the News: Vancouver’s Urgent Need for Non-Profit Housing

  1 May 2024

A recent opinion article in the Vancouver Sun by Nancy Hannum highlights the critical need for non-profit housing in Vancouver. Nancy is the chair of the Co‑op Committee of False Creek South Neighbourhood Association’s RePlan Committee. She lives in Alder Bay Housing Co‑operative.

Vancouver needs a different type of housing — starting on public land

A photo from the early 1970s shows the first phase of False Creek South's redevelopment. [PNG Merlin Archive] PHOTO BY SUBMITTED PHOTO: FALSE CREEK SOU /PNG
A photo from the early 1970s shows the first phase of False Creek South’s redevelopment. [PNG Merlin Archive]

The op‑ed argues that in Metro Vancouver at least 70 per cent of all new rental supply built over the next 20 years must be non-market. This is crucial to alleviate the ongoing housing crisis.

Summary of Key Points

🏘️ Current Situation: While acknowledging recent housing initiatives there remains a need for governments to prioritize building rent-geared-to-income non-profit housing. This includes housing co-operatives and non-profit rentals.

💰 Importance of Non-Profit Housing: Median rental rates in Vancouver are unattainable for half of the city’s population. Non-profit housing offers stability and affordability. This is crucial in a market where rates continue to escalate.

Urgency of Action. The Vancity Community Foundation urges that 70% of new rental supply built over the next two decades be non-market to alleviate the housing crisis. To reach that target, the op-ed advocates for public land to be exclusively allocated to non-profit housing. This would ensure affordability for low- and middle-income households.

🏙️ City of Vancouver’s Commitment. The City of Vancouver plans to prioritize building new co-ops on vacant city-owned land, particularly in False Creek South. This community exemplifies successful non-profit housing initiatives.

🛡️Preserving Affordability. Nancy stresses the importance of extending existing land leases to safeguard affordability in communities like False Creek South. This aligns with provincial and federal efforts to protect rental housing.

🌟 Future Outlook: The op-ed concludes by championing non-profit housing as the cornerstone of affordability, sustainability, and livability. It urges a shift in perspective to prioritize non-profit housing on public land.

An aerial view of False Creek South looking Nnorth.


In a city grappling with an escalating housing crisis, the urgent need for non-profit housing—particularly co-ops—in Vancouver cannot be overstated. As highlighted by Nancy, prioritizing rent-geared-to-income options on public land is essential to address the housing crisis. Median rental rates at are at unsustainable levels. This means governments and communities must collaborate on initiatives that prioritize affordability and stability for all residents.

By championing non-profit housing as the foundation of a more equitable and sustainable future, Vancouver can pave the way for inclusive urban development and thriving communities. 🏡💫