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

The Miracle - - Politics - By Pre­mier John Hor­gan

Ev­ery per­son in this province de­serves a se­cure place to call home. But years of in­ac­tion on the B.C. hous­ing cri­sis has left peo­ple un­able to find af­ford­able hous­ing, and even mid­dle-in­come fam­i­lies strug­gling to get by. We’re mak­ing dif­fer­ent choices. On Tues­day, our gov­ern­ment made a his­toric an­nounce­ment - 4,900 new af­ford­able mixed-in­come rental homes will be built in 42 com­mu­ni­ties around the province. This new hous­ing is the first to be de­liv­ered through the Build­ing BC: Com­mu­nity Hous­ing Fund, a $1.9 bil­lion in­vest­ment over 10 years to de­liver 14,000 af­ford­able rental homes for se­niors, fam­i­lies, and lowand-mid­dle in­come earn­ers in B.C. From Sur­rey, to Kam­loops to Van­cou­ver and Van­der­hoof, the 72 projects will in­clude new, af­ford­able homes for peo­ple across a range of in­come lev­els. The non-prof­its and co-ops will be built over the next two to three years. The new homes are de­signed to ad­dress the need for af­ford­able hous­ing for mid­dle, mod­er­ate, and low-in­come earn­ers, in re­sponse to a hous­ing cri­sis that has made hous­ing un­af­ford­able for even mid­dle-class fam­i­lies. The units will also in­clude heav­ily sub­si­dized rentals for se­niors and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, and homes for low wage work­ers. It’s an im­por­tant part of our work to take ac­tion on the hous­ing cri­sis and give peo­ple a break from sky­rock­et­ing hous­ing costs around B.C. It also means peo­ple in can stay in their com­mu­ni­ties, and be part of B.C.’s ro­bust, sus­tain­able econ­omy. Bud­get 2018 in­cluded the big­gest in­vest­ment in hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity in B.C.’s his­tory – more than $7 bil­lion over 10 years. We are be­gin­ning to see the im­pacts of that fund­ing on the ground as part of our 30 point, cross-gov­ern­ment plan to tackle sup­ply, curb de­mand and pro­vide more se­cu­rity for renters. Our Rapid Re­sponse to Home­less­ness pro­gram has al­ready been put into ac­tion. By the end of 2019, we will have built more than 2000 mod­u­lar homes with 24/7 sup­port ser­vices in 22 com­mu­ni­ties. So far, 600 mod­u­lar homes have been built in four B.C. com­mu­ni­ties, help­ing peo­ple get out of tent cities, off the street, and on the path to op­por­tu­nity. We’ve also started 12 projects that will pro­vide 280 safe new homes for women and chil­dren flee­ing vi­o­lence and abuse. And for the first time in Cana­dian his­tory, a province has taken steps, to­gether with Indige­nous lead­ers, to di­rectly ad­dress the hous­ing needs of Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties on-re­serve. Peo­ple need an op­por­tu­nity to sur­vive, thrive, and get ahead. That starts with know­ing that you and your fam­ily have a place to come home to. We’re work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively across the aisle and with lo­cal part­ners to de­liver safe, se­cure, and af­ford­able hous­ing for Bri­tish Columbians. It’s good for peo­ple, it’s good for com­mu­ni­ties and it’s good for the econ­omy. And it’s only the be­gin­ning.

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

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