4,900 new affordable rental homes on the way for B.C. families

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Help is on the way for middle-income families in 42 communities as the Province moves forward with more than 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes as part of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.

“Years of inaction on the B.C. housing crisis left families struggling to get by and unable to get ahead,” said Premier John Horgan. “These new, affordable rental homes are an important step toward addressing the housing crisis and giving families in every part of the province a break from skyrocketing housing costs.”

The new homes are designed to address the need for affordable housing across a range of income levels, in response to a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for even middle-class families.

Much like past investments in co-op and non-profit housing, individual buildings will contain units aimed at a mix of income levels, including homes for middle-income individuals and families, deeply subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers.

“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are building housing so that growing families, aging seniors and low- to moderate-income individuals can afford homes in the communities they live and work in,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new homes will have life-changing impacts for people and communities right across the province.”

The Province’s new Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years, will build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for seniors, families and low- and middle-income earners, with many to include child care. These 4,900 homes, the first set of projects selected through this fund, will include both non-profits and co-ops, and will be built over the next two to three years.

“This historic investment in the community housing sector is an investment in British Columbians struggling to find safe, secure and affordable housing,” said Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Non-profit housing partners are hard at work turning these dollars into homes and are committed to ensuring that what is affordable in our sector today, will remain affordable for generations to come.”

The Province, through BC Housing, selected the first set of projects based on a number of criteria, including targeted clients and the impact the project is expected to have in reducing the community’s affordable rental housing need.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the B.C. Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

A community breakdown of projects is included in the backgrounder linked below.

Quotes:

Thom Armstrong, executive director, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC –

“Co-ops and non-profit housing partners welcome this landmark investment in affordable, mixed-income communities all over British Columbia. We applaud the government for delivering on its commitment to make life more secure and affordable for families and seniors who have struggled in this very challenging housing market.”

Patrick Buchannon, executive director, New Chelsea Society –

“Founded by veterans of the Second World War, New Chelsea Society is a non-profit housing society that has been providing housing with heart in the Lower Mainland for low- and moderate-income seniors, families and persons with disabilities for over 65 years. We aspire to provide our 3,000 residents with more than just an affordable place to live – we strive to provide them with a home and a community. We are very proud to be partnering with the Province and the City of Vancouver and are thrilled to have been selected to receive the funding to build a new 102-unit affordable housing project for seniors and families on Southwest Marine Drive in Vancouver.”

Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver –

“This landmark investment in housing for low- and middle-income residents shows what can happen when governments work together to make life easier for people. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Province to help make Vancouver affordable for everyone.”

George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview –

“I’m proud to be part of a government that is taking strong steps to tackle the housing crisis that is impacting people in our community and around B.C. The Province will continue to work with non-profits and municipalities to make sure more people have an affordable place to live.”

Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands –

“I welcome this government’s historic investment into housing that meets the needs and income levels of local residents. This investment will change the lives of individuals and families in communities around B.C. I’m proud to be working with this government to tackle the affordability crisis in our province.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province will provide approximately $492 million to deliver these new affordable rental homes.
  • These homes will be a mix of units for middle-, moderate- and low-income households. See the backgrounder linked below for details.
  • Projects were selected through a request for proposals, which was issued on April 18 and closed on Sept. 18, 2018. BC Housing will work with the societies to finalize the projects over the next few months.
  • Budget 2018 launched the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.’s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

Information about the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and a map of the approved projects can be found here: http://www.bchousing.org/CHF

To view the two backgrounders to this release, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Backgrounder_Housing_Projects.pdf