Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency

Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency logo

Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) is a City-controlled, but legally separate, entity created to implement the recommendations from the Mayor's Task Force on Housing Affordability.

The housing agency's goals are to:

  • Ensure resources and projects align with Council goals and objectives
  • Deliver housing as quickly, efficiently, and affordably as possible through standardized processes, economies of scale, and clear decision making
  • Identify where the greatest impact can be made, and act as a catalyst for innovative housing ideas and models
  • Evaluate outcomes and share learnings with the City and senior levels of government, driving standardization and streamlining of processes across multiple delivery platforms

Temporary Modular Homes Initiative update

May 12, 2016 – We are taking the next step in the process of delivering temporary modular homes. This form of construction is a cost-effective way to quickly increase the supply of affordable housing until more permanent housing can be built.

What is modular housing?

Modular housing is a form of construction that consists of multiple sections or modules that are typically manufactured off-site. Completed modules are transported to the building site and assembled by a crane. They can be placed quickly and house residents almost immediately after setup.

Earlier this spring, we undertook a request for qualification process and shortlisted 12 companies with experience delivering modular homes. We have invited the top five companies to bid on the first two pilot projects.

Request for proposals for two pilot sites

We will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for these two pilot sites, located at 1500 Main Street and 1060 Howe Street, to advance due-diligence studies and site-specific project designs.

  • 1500 Main will accommodate approximately 40 to 80 micro homes (with private bathrooms and kitchens) and amenity space.
  • 1060 Howe will accommodate roughly 40 homes (with private bathrooms and shared kitchen/amenity facilities) on the raised parkade at the rear of the building (subject to structural requirements).
  • All of these homes will be available to individuals on income assistance or fixed incomes.
  • Each pilot site will be operated by a non-profit society that we are in the process of selecting.

Once the RFP process concludes, the successful proponent(s) will submit an application for a temporary development permit for each site. As part of that process, a formal community notification process will take place to seek input from neighbouring residents and businesses. The development permit application will also include more detailed information on the non-profit that will operate and manage the homes.

Shortlisted companies

The five proponents for the pilot projects are:

Following the pilot projects, future opportunities for modular housing projects will be opened to all 12 shortlisted companies, which further include:

Tenanting process

We will be working with a non-profit operator to complete the tenanting process later in 2016. We will intend for the operator to use the BC Housing Registry.

To apply for the registry, contact one of the following:

For questions and comments, phone 604-673-8291 or email

Do you have expertise in prefabricated modular housing? Send in your qualifications

Request for qualifications (RFQ) No. PSVAHA2016-01: Selecting partners for a pre-qualification shortlist to supply prefabricated modular housing

We are progressing with the development of new affordable homes as part of our mandate to enable 2,500 new affordable homes by 2021. While these new affordable homes are being built, we are looking at providing temporary transitional housing options to help meet some of the current need.

We are seeking responses from interested partners with expertise in prefabricated modular housing for the construction, supply, delivery, and installation of modular housing units. Projects will range in size, property use mix, and complexity.

If you are selected, you will be eligible to participate in Site-Specific Requests for Proposals for specific opportunities for a period of two years, with a possible extension of one year.

Vancouver's housing profile

Get an overview of the City’s housing stock, trends, market rates, tenure, demographics, and needs with the annual Housing Characteristics Fact Sheet.

Housing Characteristics Fact Sheet

Vacant housing study

There has been significant public interest in the issue of homes being left vacant, due to:

  • Affordability challenges across the housing continuum
  • Very low rental vacancy rates
  • The potential impact of vacant homes on the vibrancy of neighbourhoods

Vancouver City Council has expressed a desire to understand the extent of this issue given the demand for housing.

There is limited research and data available on vacant housing. There are two recent studies available on this issue:

  1. Urban Futures determined that 6.7% of Vancouver apartment dwellings are unoccupied (compared to 6.2% in Metro Vancouver and 7% across all Canadian metropolitan areas) in a 2013 study of 2011 Census data .
  2. BTAworks found that 5.5 to 8% of downtown condo units were unoccupied in a 2009 study of BC Hydro data .

The City hired the consultant Ecotagious Inc. to help further investigate this issue. The consultant estimated the current number of vacant housing units in Vancouver by analyzing anonymous BC Hydro data from 225,000 homes during 2002 to 2014. The study findings showed that:

  • The percentage of unoccupied homes has remained steady since 2002 – about 4.8% for all housing types.
  • 10,800 homes out of the 225,000 studied were empty for one year or more.
  • 90% of the empty homes were condos and apartments.
  • The percentage of empty single-family and duplex properties remains the same as 2002 at around 1%.
  • Census data shows that the percentage of empty apartment and condo units in Vancouver is about the same as other large Canadian cities.

Read the study report on empty homes PDF file (1 MB)

Prequalified developer partners

In March 2015, VAHA posted a request for qualifications (RFQ) to select partners for a prequalified shortlist to develop affordable housing on City-owned land.

The following partners were selected to participate:

  • Boffo Developments
  • Bosa Properties
  • Boston Construction Group
  • Concert Properties
  • Concord Pacific
  • Cressey Development Group
  • Eighth Avenue Development Group
  • Intracorp
  • Lang Wilson – Kindred
  • Lark Group
  • Marcon Developments
  • VanMar Constructors Inc.
  • Ventana Construction Corporation
  • Wesgroup
  • Westbank Corp
  • Solterra Group of Companies
  • Thind Properties

Board of directors

The Housing Agency’s board includes senior City staff and four at-large directors with skills and experience in real estate and development, finance, legal, design and planning, rental management, and affordable housing.

Mukhtar Latif

Mukhtar Latif

As the City's Chief Housing Officer and VAHA CEO, Mukhtar is responsible for identifying, appraising and delivering more affordable housing in the City.

Mukhtar works with developers, not-for-profits, and provincial and federal agencies to meet housing needs and help implement the recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force in providing an array of housing types.

Mukhtar worked extensively in the UK with 20 years’ experience of delivering affordable housing across a range of tenures.

Bill Aujla

Bill Aujla

Bill Aujla is the general manager of real estate facilities management for the City of Vancouver, a position he has held for the last two and a half years.

Before this, Bill served as the project manager for Southeast False Creek and Olympic Village.

Bill has also worked as a solicitor for the City of Vancouver’s law department, an articled student at BLG Law Firm, a financial analyst for the Coast Mountain Bus Company in Surrey, and a civil engineer for the City of Vancouver Engineering Services.

Ken Clement

Ken Clement

Ken Clement, of Ktunaxa First Nation ancestry, is CEO of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, a recent member of the Vancouver School Board, the first Aboriginal trustee to serve on the board, and a long-time champion for Aboriginal housing and employment.

Ken has served as president of the Lu’ma Native Housing Society for more than 20 years, working to provide affordable housing to Aboriginal families and individuals with low to moderate incomes.

Cassie Doyle

Cassie Doyle

Cassie Doyle is currently Consul General of Canada for northern California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam.

Her five-year appointment is ending and she is returning to Vancouver to live and work.

Cassie started her career with the City of Ottawa working in housing and urban development before progressing into senior leadership roles in the BC and federal public services where she worked for over 15 years on housing, environmental, clean energy, small business, and natural resource portfolios.

Sarah Goodman

Sarah Goodman

Sarah Goodman is founder and CEO of Tree Top Strategy, an advisory firm that partners with businesses, social entrepreneurs, governments, and philanthropists to foster social, economic, and environmental innovation.

Sarah is the founding chair of New Market Funds Society and a trustee of the Jack Webster Foundation.

Previous board roles include Translink, Iisaak Forest Resources, and the Coast Mental Health Foundation.

Sarah helped green the 2010 Winter Olympics as a member of a sustainability advisory committee to the board.

Patrice Impey

Patrice Impey

Patrice Impey is the chief financial officer and general manager of financial services for the City of Vancouver.

She oversees all aspects of finance, risk, supply chain, business planning, and information technology for the City.

Patrice has over 20 years’ experience in senior financial and operational management positions in the private and public sectors.

Bruce Tidball

Bruce Tidball

Bruce Tidball is president of Tidball Projects and for close to 20 years has provided major project management, construction, and owner representation services for developers throughout the Lower Mainland including on some of the city’s most well-known properties: the Shangri-La Hotel, Village on False Creek, and Shaw Tower.

Bruce has provided construction and development advisory services in the Vancouver construction market for the design and construction of multiple residential, office, retail, hotel, and mixed-use projects.

Council documents about Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency

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Contact the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency's Chief Executive Officer

Mukhtar Latif
Chief Executive Officer
Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency

Mayor's Task Force on Housing Affordability


The Task Force on Affordable Housing is making Vancouver a more liveable, sustainable, and affordable city.

Learn how