The City of Vancouver announced it plans to open 1,000 units of affordable housing in the next three years, earmarked for local low- and middle-income residents.

In what the city described as the largest one-time municipal land investment into community housing in Canada, Vancouver will be developing seven city-owned lots worth $130 million.

The apartments are meant to house more than 2,000 individuals, couples and families earning between $30,000 and $80,000 a year.

Ranging in size and number of bedrooms, they'll rent for between the shelter rate of $375 and month and as much as $2,000 for larger units, Mayor Gregor Robertson said at a news conference Friday.

"Our goal as a city is to make sure people who work in the city can actually live in the city as well, so the housing that we're trying to build on city land, that we're awarding today, is at rents that match that local income," Robertson said.

Robertson did not say exactly how many of the units will be leased at the shelter rate, but said if the provincial or federal governments chipped in, the city could offer more at lower rates.

Currently, the plan will be funded by the city alone.

Some of the projects are expected to break ground by the end of 2018, and each building is expected to take about two years to be finished. Once complete, the city will work with non-profit organizations to run the community housing.

Of the thousand new homes, the largest of the developments will be erected at 3310 Marine Way. Nearly 330 units will be built on the lot near Everett Crowley Park.

Nearby, another 140 will be built at 3182 and 3245 Pierview Crescent, 71 per cent of which are required to be family residences.

Further north, about 57 units will be built in a mixed-use building at 1001 Kingsway, and 106 will be built on the lots at 3279-3297 Vanness Ave., about half of which will be family residences.

Downtown, three developments will house a combined 415 units in buildings at Burrard and Davie, Seymour and Davie and Pender Street. The building on Burrard will include space for a queer, trans and Two-Spirit resource centre in a mixed-use development.

The buildings are expected to increase the land value from the current $130 million to $425 million, the mayor said Friday.

The search for a developer began last year, and was led by the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency. After multiple bids, city Council voted in favour of plans put forward by Community Land Trust, a non-profit society that serves as the developer for the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC.

"We've been focused on new ways to lower the cost of development and stimulate a strong and sustainable affordable housing industry," VAHA CEO Luke Harrison said.

"Introducing portfolios of public land generates opportunities for a growing community housing sector to scale up capacity and efficiently build and operate housing that is just not possible in single projects."

The city's 10-year plan includes the construction of 72,000 homes, two-thirds of which will be rental only. Robertson said municipal officials will ensure that their rates are aligned with local incomes.