Of almost 3,000 housing units in False Creek South, about 1,800 are located on leased land owned by the City of Vancouver. One-third of these units are in housing co-ops, one-third non-market rental units, and another third are leasehold strata title units.
The False Creek South Neighbourhood Association created *RePlan in 2010 to work with the City of Vancouver on developing new lease options to preserve the community beyond lease expiry. Most *RePlan volunteers live in the community and devote hundreds of hours of personal time every year on the complex issues involved in lease renewal.
Leases on City land expire between 2036 and 2046, with two housing co-op leases expiring in 2022 and 2023. Uncertainty about what the City of Vancouver might decide to do when leases expire is starting to cause real problems. The most significant issue is that new mortgages and loans for building improvements are becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain. This is because financial institutions only amortize loans for five years less than the duration of the lease. As time goes by, this issue may impact the value of homes and ability to borrow money to pay for necessary maintenance at co-ops, stratas and non-profit housing.
In January 2017, Vancouver City Council voted unanimously to:
Develop Terms of Reference to guide a community planning process in FCS
Develop affordable housing options for all FCS residents to remain in the community
Produce a framework for resolving lease issues
Evaluate land governance options
Initiate building condition assessments
Approve False Creek South principles for community engagement