Millenium Developments to Receive $100-million Loan

A bit of a bombshell dropped this morning: the City of Vancouver is apparently about to loan $100 million to Millenium Developments, the company developing the SE False Creek 'Olympic Village' site.

This comes after everyone at the city was saying the project was fiscally stable, and that the city was not going to be left on the hook for anything.

In a mayoral candidates' debate this morning, both Peter Ladner and Gregor Robertson expressed support for the loan - but what shocked me was the source of the loan: the property endowment fund.

Those paying close attention will remember the NPA nixed the community-based original plans for the site (which involved more amenities and more non-market housing) because that plan called for an $11 million dip into the endowment fund.

Peter Ladner said the fund "is equipped to be used like this", and that it is big enough to handle that kind of draw. Gregor Robertson retorted that "it is concerning that Peter Ladner cannot answer questions on this", that it is concerning that there is very little transparency on the issue.

So, the endowment fund cannot be used to build affordable housing, but ten times that amount can be used to support a developer who suddenly finds themselves in way over their heads?