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B.C.’s Rental Protection Fund gives $11.8M to preserve affordable Burnaby apartment building

The Edmonds apartment building has rents almost 60 per cent below the Burnaby median.
B.C.'s Rental Protection Fund contributed $11.5 million to purchase Casa Mia Apartments in Burnaby.

An affordable rental apartment building in Burnaby's Edmonds neighbourhood won't be scooped up by developers, as B.C.'s Rental Protection Fund has stepped in with $11.8 million towards the purchase of the property.

The 56 homes of Casa Mia Apartments at 7268 Balmoral St. will now be in the care of Brightside Community Homes Foundation after the investment from the province's Rental Protection Fund, which contributes money to non-profits to purchase existing rental buildings.

The fund will also contribute a grant of $15,000 per home for renovations, according to a press release.

The apartments at Casa Mia, some of which are home to seniors on fixed incomes, are rented at rates 56 per cent below the median rent in Burnaby, which is $1,550 according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

That puts the Casa Mia rents around $680 per month.

"It can be a scary thing for renters to see a for-sale sign go up at their affordable rental property that has been their home for many years," said Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon in the release.

"We created the Rental Protection Fund to safeguard affordable homes, such as Casa Mia in Burnaby, against private investors, potential redevelopments and rent hikes."

Katie Maslechko, CEO of the Rental Protection Fund, said preserving the homes offers renters immediate security and safeguards crucial housing stock.

"The acquisition plays a vital role in addressing the rental erosion crisis in Burnaby, where the city lost over 1,300 affordable rental units from 2010 to 2021," said the release.

Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan said the acquisition is "crucial" in addressing Burnaby's affordable housing needs.

"We are seeing the direct impact of our Rental Protection Fund and Brightside’s commitment to provide affordable housing," Chouhan said. "With this purchase, people living in Casa Mia Apartments can continue to live in their homes and benefit from affordable rents for years to come."

The Edmonds property is assessed at $15.88 million.

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