BC promises $1.9 billion for affordable housing

Sean Holden & Ash Murni / November 13, 2018

BC Premier John Horgan Announces the direction of BC’s Affordable Housing Strategy.
(Carol Xu / BCIT News)

4,900 affordable rental homes are set to be built within the next two to three years in BC.

The investment is aimed towards middle and low income residents.

Premier John Horgan said, “Years of inaction on the B.C. housing crisis left families struggling to get by and unable to get ahead.”

Horgan made the announcement outside of Chelsea Gardens in Vancouver, an affordable housing complex.

“Well I’m happy it will help a lot of people and it will be something they can afford,” said Eileen Runde, a 22 year resident of Chelsea Gardens.

“less worries for the families, it’s very hard for those with children… extremely hard, so I’m all for it.”

Runde hopes the changes will make living in BC more affordable for renters. She currently spends 800 dollars on rent for her single bedroom in the complex.

The announcement made on Tuesday will add to a series of co-op and non-profit housing projects.

Units will be developed for the next 10 years will subsidize rentals for seniors, families and those with low incomes.

1.9 billion dollars will be spread out through that period of time to build 14,000 affordable homes. 492 million dollars will be used to deliver these new rental homes in the first phase of the project.

“These new homes will have life changing impacts for people and communities right across the province.” – Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal affairs and Housing

The province has faced many challenges in addressing the affordability crisis for rentals. Currently a third of British Columbians are renters, and half of them are spending nearly 30 per cent of their income on rent.

For now, 72 projects have been approved.

Projects being built under the Building BC Community Housing Fund will reflect the variety of incomes in the province. 50% of the units will be produced for low to moderate income families, 30% will go to middle income homes and 20% to households with low incomes like seniors on fixed compensation.

2,900 of the units will be built in the Lower Mainland and 1,300 for Vancouver Island. An additional 750 units will be constructed in the Interior and Northern BC.

With Files from Carol Xu