VICTORIA — The B.C. government is set to roll out its plan to create almost 2,900 new rental units Tuesday, with half the affordable housing stock earmarked for the Lower Mainland. Premier Christy Clark and Housing Minister Rich Coleman will unveil 68 affordable housing projects across the province, totalling 2,897 new rental units. The details flesh out how the province plans to spend a $500-million housing affordability fund first announced by Clark in September. Half of the new rental spaces, or roughly 1,441 units in 22 projects, will be located in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, which have been hardest hit by the housing affordability crisis. That includes 202 rental units in three projects in Burnaby, 160 units in one project in Richmond, 326 units in five projects in Surrey and 611 units in 10 projects in the City of Vancouver. Coleman has previously announced low-income family and youth units in Chilliwack, as well as affordable rental units in Whistler. The government will make the announcement in Surrey, where it plans to highlight a $4.7-million partnership with the YWCA Metro Vancouver to create 40 apartments for low-to-moderate-income single mothers who have children with special needs. Those kinds of partnerships with community groups, private developers and other governments have been cited by Coleman as key to stretching the provincial funding to provide even more rental spaces. The YWCA already operates seven supportive housing communities across Metro Vancouver, and has plans for four more. For clients such as Jen Buckingham, expanding the YWCA support is essential. Buckingham’s 14-yearold daughter Dorothy has velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS) and autism, meaning she can be prone to loud outbursts, making it a challenge to get a traditional rental unit from a landlord who might not be sympathetic to such disruption, said Buckingham. Buckingham obtained the YWCA’s help to find supportive housing in Surrey, and said new units dedicated to mothers with special-needs children are critical. “I think it’s a very positive move and hope they continue with more along the same lines,” she said. Clark billed the affordable housing fund as an attempt to help at-risk renters who had been squeezed out of the housing market by increased home sales and rising prices. The revenue comes from B.C.’s property transfer tax, which has been a financial windfall in recent months for the provincial treasury. Seniors, single parents, youth transitioning, the disabled, First Nations, and women and children fleeing abusive relationships are the priority for the housing fund, Clark has said. It’s also one plank in the government’s response to the housing affordability crisis in Metro Vancouver, which included a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax introduced in August. Critics have said Clark’s government was too slow to act to cool the market, and it has not done enough to help vulnerable homeowners or renters. A handful of remaining housing projects are expected to be announced later this year.