Calling it “the beginning of a new era,” BC Premier John Horgan announced today the creation of the Building BC Community Housing Fund, which will see 14,000 new rental homes built throughout the province over the next decade to assist low-income renters, seniors, and families.
“We’re building British Columbia by investing in homes for people who live and work in our communities,” said Horgan. “Fixing the housing crisis is not just about ownership. It’s about making sure that British Columbians who rent rather than own can find homes they can afford and have a future in.”
Through the new fund, the government said it will invest close to $1.9 billion over 10 years to deliver “safe, secure and affordable” housing for BC renters. This housing will be built through partnerships with municipalities, non-profits, and co-ops.
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“People are struggling in the midst of this housing crisis. We need to do everything we can to make housing more affordable,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Through the Community Housing Fund, people who have been squeezed out of the tight rental market will be able to find a place to call their own, so they can stay in their community.”
BC Housing is issuing requests for proposals to identify prospective partners, including non-profit societies, housing co-operatives, and municipalities, which want to develop and operate mixed-income rental housing projects.
Projects will be prioritized based on a number of criteria, including targeted clients and the impact the project would have in reducing the community’s affordable rental housing need.
“Non-profit housing providers have been anxiously awaiting this day – the launch of a historic investment in affordable housing,” said Dean Fortin, executive director, Pacifica Housing. “We all know the fundamental importance of decent housing to enable the building of strong and resilient families and children.”
The announcement comes less than a week after BC announced its partnership with United Church to build 400 rental homes across the province.