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Photos: 20 affordable rental units come to South Burnaby in new development

Residents are moving into a new five-storey Burnaby development with 122 condos and 20 non-market rental units — with monthly rent for a studio at $375.

South Burnaby welcomed new neighbours to Byrnepark Drive this month as residents moved into 20 new affordable rental units.

The rentals are part of Byrnepark, a five-storey development with an additional 122 condominiums by Polygon Homes at 6438 Byrnepark Dr.

The 20 non-market rentals, called Susana Cogan Place, will be owned and operated by Tikva Housing Society.

Rents for the homes will range between $375 per month for a studio and $1,610 per month for a two-bedroom, according to a news release.

The homes will be rented to those with low to moderate incomes.

Aish Roitman, a new resident of Susana Cogan Place, spoke at a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 13 with his daughter Maya beside him.

He said the last few months were a difficult time for his family and that Tikva Housing changed his life.

"I can actually save money, you know, for her future because of Tikva," he said.

"It’s really a life-changer."

Neil Chrystal, president of Polygon Homes, said Polygon bought the land from the City of Burnaby, adding the city's senior planners suggested trading density for an affordable housing portion of the development which led to the floor of non-market rentals being built.

"The investments we've made as a city into affordable housing are beginning to pay off in Burnaby, and it's encouraging to see tenants moving into their affordable units at Susana Cogan Place," said Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley in the release.

BC Housing provided about $3 million to the project and will provide an annual operating subsidy of about $74,000.

Many speakers highlighted the importance of the late Susana Cogan, a housing advocate and leader at Tikva Housing, whom the residence is named after.

"She never stopped fighting till the end," said Ezra Shanken, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.

"She kept fighting, not for her own life, but for housing and caring for the most vulnerable within our community."