Advocates say $1.8B per year will tackle B.C.’s affordable housing crisis

The $1.8 billion in funding would be used to create about 7,000 units each year for ten years, and close affordability gap

The BC Rental Housing Coalition has released a proposal to tackle the affordable housing crisis in the province, bringing municipalities and not-for-profits into the funding plan.

Created by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and LandlordBC, the Affordable Housing Plan for BC estimates that $1.8 billion per year for ten years will increase the rental housing supply, close the affordability gap and address chronic homelessness across the province.

“The cost of inaction is much more expensive than action,” said Kishone Roy, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association.

“The problem is very much solveable,” said David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC.

RELATED: LandlordBC launches new registry

In addition to the $691 million over the ten years the federal and provincial would invest, the report proposes that community groups, municipalities, and non-profits would fund the leftover $461 million through land contributions, leveraging equity from assets, private donations and financing.

In February, the Metro Vancouver task force on homelessness released 12 recommendations again calling on the provincial and federal governments to create and fund a provincial poverty reduction plan.

RELATED: Homelessness task force calls on province for poverty reduction plan

But Thom Armstrong, executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, said it’s time for all levels of government to work together.

Using a housing first strategy, the report states that for every $10 spent on affordable housing, $21 is saved in costs related to health care, the justice system, shelters and other social supports.

Roy said that there needs to be a province-wide list of all homeless individuals so that they can be targeted for housing.

RELATED: Metro Vancouver homeless count releases first report

The $1.8 billion in funding would be used to create about 80,000 new units, or about $7,000 each year – the estimated number of backlogged rental spaces, according to the report. At least 3,500 of the new units that need to be built in B.C. must be affordable housing, according to Roy.

Repairing and retrofitting affordable housing units that already exist would be backed by $125 million of the plan’s annual budget.

The funds would also provide a boost to income assistance to address the affordability gap – the difference between what renters pay for shelter and what they can afford.

According to the report, 117,000 renter households required some form of income assistance for rental payments last year.

“Previous federal and provincial social housing supply programs allowed for the replacement of some building components, but did not factor in long-term capital upgrades,” the report reads.

Advocates are recommending the province create a single renter’s grant that would be available to all low-income co-op and renter households. Currently, the two main rent supplement programs in BC are the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program and the Rental Assistance program for low-income families with children.

“There are currently several rent assistance programs in B.C. but none are universally available or at a rate high enough to cover the affordability gap,” the report says.


@ashwadhwaniashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Rental Housing Coalition: by Ashley Wadhwani on Scribd

Just Posted

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

VIDEO: emergency landing near Langley airport

Plane lost power during take-off

Crash on 200 Street in Langley Township

Report of traffic congestion following late morning accident

Surrey’s Justin Sourdif to debut for Vancouver Giants tonight in Langley

Last month, he suited up for Team BC in the WHL Cup and was named tournament all-star.

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read