Courtesy September Architecture

Located in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, 187 E 3rd features 30 non-market housing units for low and modest income artists and their families. The building is owned by the City of Vancouver and operated by 221A Artist Housing Society in collaboration with the Community Land Trust.

Key Features

The facility features:

  • 30 units of housing between Levels 3 to 5: 
    • 13 studios (one of which is accessible) 
    • 15 one-bedroom units (one of which is accessible) 
    • 2 two-bedroom units
  • Monthly rents range from $467 to $1,556, which include housing charges no more than 30% of monthly income (averaged over 3 years) plus proportional share of amenity usage costs
  • Amenities include rooftop outdoor space with children’s play area, and shared laundry facilities on each floor
  • Underground secured bicycle parking and limited vehicle parking (at an additional cost) 
  • Access to a shared arts production space 
  • Occupancy expected December 1, 2021

How to Apply

1. Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the artist housing at 187 E 3rd, the primary applicant must:

  • Be an artist 
  • Have a total household income at or below the Housing Income Limits (HILs) 
    • Maximum HILs for studio and 1 bedroom is annual household income of $55,500, and 2 bedroom is $67,500. In recognition that artists have fluctuating incomes, we look at the average household income over 3 years. 
  • Be 19 years or older
  • Be living in BC
  • Use the property as their primary residence 
  • Additional eligibility for accessible units
  • Must not be employees, board members, contractors of 221A and the Community Land Trust 

2. Complete and Submit Application

Submit application by October 15, 2021. The application consists of:

  • 187 E 3rd Artist Housing Application Form
  • Proof of income/assets 
  • Proof of artistic practice (i.e. portfolio, CV, website, etc.)
  • References

We may contact applicants for an informal phone call or in-person/virtual meeting to confirm the information submitted.

3. Lottery

Applicants will be selected through a lottery process based on unit type and income range.

4. Screening

The screening process includes income verification and reference checks. 

5. Sign leases and receive detailed move-in information

221A AHS will prioritize applications from members of the following designated groups that have traditionally been disadvantaged from accessing resources within the cultural sector: Black and/or African-Canadian, Indigenous, and racialized people; people living with disabilities; people who are deaf or hard of hearing; Two-spirit, queer, trans, and non-binary people. Special consideration is also given to applicants with housing needs based on a combination of their income, current housing costs and housing conditions.


Rental Units

The 30 units of artist housing at 187 E 3rd include:

  • 13 studios (one of which is accessible) 
  • 15 one-bedroom units (one of which is accessible) 
  • 2 two-bedroom units
  • Ranging from 325 - 623 sq ft
  • Storage space in each unit
  • Located on levels 3, 4 and 5
  • Featuring excellent light, balconies, new appliances
  • Secure fob access to building
  • Elevator access
  • Shared laundry room on each floor
  • Please note that these are not live/work units, and may accommodate light artistic practices but not any that require secondary ventilation or soundproofing. 

Accessible Units 

  • There are 2 fully accessible units (1 studio, 1 one-bedroom)
  • These are given priority to eligible applicants (including individuals living in the same household) who:
    • have mobility challenges and require the assistance of a wheelchair and/or other mobility device,
    • and/or cannot live independently without the features of an accessible unit,
    • and/or is designated a Person with Disabilities (PWA) by the province.

Rents and General Terms

  • Rents range from Income Assistance rates to a maximum of the HILs (Housing Income Limits) thresholds. 
  • Monthly rents will be no more than 30% of the resident’s monthly household income (averaged over 3 years) plus applicable usage fees. 
  • Units are rented out on a month-to-month term, with a minimum of 1 month and no maximum duration.
  • Units are subject to occupancy guidelines. For example, a single person or couple would be suitable for a studio or one-bedroom unit, a single person or couple with a child or dependent would be suitable for a two-bedroom unit, etc. 
Unit TypeSize (Sq Ft)Number ofAvailable UnitsApprox. MonthlyRental Rate*Avg. Annual Household Income
Studio32512$ 646$22,680 - $55,500
1 bedroom443-56414$ 1,106 - $ 1,393$38,840 - $55,500
2 bedroom 6232$1,556$54,622 - $67,500
Studio - accessible4501$467$16,400 - $55,500
1 bedroom - accessible5581$579$20,311 - $55,500
*Includes proportional usage fees of shared production space.

Sample Floor Plans 


Amenities

Production Space

Adjacent to 187 E 3rd is a 2,700 sq ft Production Space that will be available to residents, cultural organizations and artists in the community for arts production and programming. 221A AHS is establishing a Shared Space Advisory Committee to guide the creation of operating principles of the shared space, including how the space will be used. From time to time there may be opportunities for residents to interact, work with and mentor teens of a youth centred organization sharing the space. We anticipate that the Production Space will be operational in Spring 2022. 

The Production Space is "Artist Studio – Class B" use, which allows:

  • dance or live music involving electronically amplified sound;
  • moving or still photography (excluding video) involving on-site film processing;
  • paintings, drawings, pottery or sculpture involving the use of fibreglass, epoxy and other toxic or hazardous materials or one or more of the following processes: welding, woodworking, spray painting, silk screening or fire

  • About 221A Artist Housing Society

    221A Artist Housing Society (221A AHS) is a newly formed non-profit society registered for the purposes of: operating and providing housing for low-income Artists and their families. 221A AHS is a sister organization to 221A, a registered Canadian Charitable organization with a mission to work with Artists and Designers to research and develop social, cultural and ecological infrastructure. 221A operates research programs, commissions public artworks and manages artists studios across five properties in the city of Vancouver, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.


    FAQ

    1. Who is an artist?

    For the purposes of this application, an “artist” is defined as someone who has developed skills through training (not necessarily in an academic institution) or practice in any creative discipline, is recognized by Artists working in the same artistic practice, has a history of public presentation or publication, seeks payment for their work, and actively practices their art. Retired artists are eligible to apply. This can include—but is not limited to—:

    • Someone who works or is skilled in any of the fine arts, including but not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, literary, calligraphy, printmaking and mixed-media.
    • Someone who creates imaginative works, including but not limited to literature, poetry, photography, music composition, choreography, architecture, video game designers, film and video.
    • Someone who creates functional art, including but not limited to jewelry, rugs, decorative screens, lighting, furniture, pottery.
    • A performer, including but not limited to, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, performance artists.
    • Someone who practices culturally-specific forms of art or craft, including but not limited to Indigenous language, weaving, carving, knowledge transmission through storytelling.
    • Someone involved in culturally significant practices, including culture bearer or practitioner, designer, technician, tattoo artist, hairdresser, chef/culinary artist, craftsperson, cultural workers dedicated to using their expertise within the community to support, promote, present, and/or teach and propagate their art form through events, activities, performance and classes.

    2. How are tenants selected?

    Eligible applicants will be entered into a lottery for their eligible unit type (based on income and occupancy guidelines). Lottery for accessible units are drawn separately. If you applied for an accessible unit but are not selected, you will be placed in the non-accessible units pool.

    221A AHS will prioritize applications from members of the following designated groups that have traditionally been disadvantaged from accessing resources within the cultural sector: Black and/or African-Canadian, Indigenous, and racialized people; people living with disabilities; people who are deaf or hard of hearing; Two-spirit, queer, trans, and non-binary people. Special consideration is also given to applicants with housing needs based on a combination of their income, current housing costs and housing conditions.

    3. What are Housing Income Limits (HILs)? Does my household income qualify?

    Housing Income Limits (HILs) represent the maximum gross household income for eligibility in many affordable housing programs. The HILs are published by BC Housing, based on figures established by CMHC and are intended to reflect the minimum income required to afford appropriate accommodation in the private market.

    To qualify for 187 E 3rd Artist Housing, your gross (before taxes/deductions) annual household income must not exceed $55,500 for studio or 1 bedroom units, and $67,500 for 2 bedroom units. In recognition that artists have fluctuating incomes, we look at the average household income over 3 years.

    Residents are required to submit income information annually. If your income increases after occupancy, your rent amount may increase accordingly.

    4. What counts as income?

    All income and assets, both taxable and non-taxable, must be declared for all household members 19 years or older. For the purposes of calculating gross household income, please include income from the sources listed below:

    • income assistance
    • employment, including regular overtime, vacation pay and gratuities
    • self-employment, including commission sales
    • seasonal employment
    • Employment Insurance and WorkSafe BC insurance
    • training allowances
    • income from the Resettlement Assistance Program
    • child support, maintenance payments or support from family/ friends/community
    • rental income from real estate or dividends from stocks or bonds, if the real monthly income is greater than the imputed income from the asset
    • Pension incomes including:
      • old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Allowance, and Allowance for the Survivor (formerly Spousal Allowance)
      • senior's supplement
      • private pension plans including Registered Retirement Income Funds, Canada Pension Plan, including retirement, disability, orphans, widows, disability for child, etc.
      • foreign pensions

    Does NOT Include:

    • earnings of dependent children aged 18 and under (regardless of student status)
    • student loans, equalization payments, student grants and scholarships
    • taxable benefits, including living out or travel allowances, medical coverage, uniform allowance, etc.
    • Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters ("SAFER") and Rental Assistance Program ("RAP") payments
    • Canada Child Tax Benefits, including the National Child Benefit Supplement, Child Disability Benefit, BC Family Bonus, and BC Earned Income Benefit
    • Universal Child Care Benefits
    • BC Childcare Subsidy
    • income from foster parenting
    • Child in Home of Relative and Extended Family Program
    • income from approved live-in care givers
    • GST and Income Tax rebates
    • War Veteran's Allowance and Disability Pension from Veteran's Affairs Canada.

    5. What information can I provide to determine income eligibility?

    CRA Notice of Assessments (last 3 years) or a combination of:

    • Tax forms i.e. T1 income tax return, T2125 business income form
    • Cheque/pay stubs or confirmation letter from employer
    • Income Assistance statements/cheque stub or confirmation letter
    • Copies of cheque stubs, bank statements showing direct deposit of pensions, or other confirmation of income for any other income source
    • Copies of bank statements or letter from financial institution;
    • Any other documents that can verify that your household meets the income eligibility.

    For more information see: BC Housing’s Proof of Income and Assets Guide.

    6. What size unit am I eligible for?

    In addition to income limits, Occupancy Guidelines may apply to the unit size. The Occupancy Guidelines are as follows:

    • No more than 2 persons per bedroom
    • No less than 1 person per bedroom
    • Spouses and couples may share a bedroom.
    • Parents can not share a bedroom with children.

    7. What constitutes as a family / household member?

    For the purposes of the application, an immediate family member means a resident's spouse, child, parent, guardian, sibling, grandchild or grandparent, or may include non-western families or chosen family members as may be considered acceptable on a case-by-case manner at the discretion of 221A AHS.

    8. Do I get to choose which unit I want to live in?

    You may indicate your preferred number of bedrooms (0 bedroom/studio, 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom) in the application form. 221A AHS will endeavour to accommodate your preferred choice, however it is not guaranteed. If you are selected as a tenant, you will be offered a unit type based on occupancy guidelines and income limits, and invited to view the unit (may be affected by COVID-19 related protocols).

    9. What art practices are allowed in the housing units?

    The housing units may accommodate light artistic practices (illustration, watercolour, etc), they are not zoned for live/work or heavy arts practices that require secondary ventilation or soundproofing.

    10. Am I allowed to make alterations to my unit?

    Alterations are permitted with approval, and must comply with all City of Vancouver regulations and requirements. Alterations are at the cost of the tenant.

    11. Am I allowed to sublease my unit?

    Subleasing, including short-term rentals (i.e. Airbnb), are not permitted for the non-market housing units. Tenants must use the property as their primary residence. A primary or principal residence is the place where you usually live and make your home and conduct your daily affairs. This is the place where you receive mail and pay your bills from, including utility bills. You would use the address of your principal residence for documentation like income tax returns, driver’s licence or other pieces of identification, insurance documentation, etc.

    If tenants are facing exceptional circumstances that require them to be away for an extended period of time while experiencing financial challenges affecting their ability to pay rent, staff will work with tenants to come to an agreeable term.

    12. Are pets allowed?

    Pets with responsible owners are welcomed, however there are certain restrictions to ensure everyone can enjoy their home and community.

    • Birds, fish, exotic and farm animals are not permitted
    • Vicious pets of any breed are not permitted (pets that are known to have attacked humans)
    • Dogs and cats must be neutered or spayed
    • Limit to one dog or one cat per unit, and size must be reasonable for unit size
    • A pet damage deposit is required

    13. What is the production space?

    Adjacent to 187 E 3rd is a 2,700 sq ft Production Space that will be available to residents, cultural organizations and artists in the community for arts production and programming. 221A AHS is establishing a Shared Space Advisory Committee to guide the creation of operating principles of the shared space, including how the space will be used. We anticipate that the Production Space will be operational in Spring 2022. 

    The Production Space is "Artist Studio – Class B" use, which allows:

    • dance or live music involving electronically amplified sound;
    • moving or still photography (excluding video) involving on-site film processing; Or
    • paintings, drawings, pottery or sculpture involving the use of fibreglass, epoxy and other toxic or hazardous materials or one or more of the following processes: welding, woodworking, spray painting, silk screening or fired ceramics.


    Info Sessions

    Virtual info sessions will be held on the following dates/times:

    Tuesday, October 5th, 12-1 pm PST
    Wednesday, October 6th, 6-7 pm PST

    Please contact us at housing@221a.ca to register.


    Contact

    If you have any questions, or would like to find out more information including info sessions and tour dates, please contact us at housing@221a.ca.