Thousands of new affordable homes coming for renters
VANCOUVER - New affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes will soon be on the way as the Province is inviting non-profits, First Nations, municipalities and other organizations to submit proposals for the Building BC: Community Housing Fund (CHF).
"We are in a housing crisis, and this new round of CHF funding will ensure more people have access to an affordable place to live by creating approximately 3,500 homes," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "This is a significant step toward our goal of 20,000 CHF-funded homes by 2032, as our province increases its housing stock faster than ever so people have the homes they need now and into the future. Together, with our many partners, we're making progress, but we know there's much more work to be done."
Proposals for the CHF are managed by BC Housing and will be accepted until mid-November 2023. The project proposals will be evaluated and projects totalling approximately 3,500 units are expected to be announced in early 2024.
Non-profit organizations, housing co-operatives, municipalities, First Nations and Indigenous- led societies are encouraged to submit their housing proposals and apply for funding.
"We welcome this response to the desperate and growing need for more safe, secure, affordable housing for British Columbians," said Thom Armstrong, CEO, Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia. "Help is on the way for 3,500 more households that are struggling to make ends meet in this overheated housing market. This government continues to lead the way in Canada by making new affordable housing supply a priority."
Projects will be prioritized based on a number of criteria, including prioritized populations and the effect the project would have in addressing the community's affordable rental housing need. Project-development funding will also be available for projects that require further development to prepare them for the next CHF funding call.
An announcement took place at a 102-unit CHF project at 75 and 95 Marine Dr. in Vancouver, a CHF-funded building operated by the New Chelsea Society.
"The City of Vancouver is focused on delivering more affordable housing and will continue to do what it takes to lead the region in new housing approval and secure attainable housing in the city," said Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver. “We appreciate our partners in the provincial government who understand that we need more housing for the people who call this city home. We will continue to work hand-in-hand to build the housing Vancouverites need.”
The CHF is a $3.3-billion investment to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for people with moderate and low incomes by 2031-32. Approximately 9,000 of these homes are open or underway throughout the province. Additional CHF proposal calls will be issued during the next four years to allocate funding for the remaining units.
"With rents rising faster in B.C. than anywhere else in the country, the homes funded through the Community Housing Fund could not come at a more critical time," said Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association. "Non-profit housing providers have been eagerly anticipating this call, and the affordable developments they bring forward will impact the lives of thousands of individuals and families for decades to come."
- Under the CHF program, most residents (70%) pay rent geared to income, where rent is generally based on 30% of household income.
- This includes 20% of units for residents with very low incomes, such as those receiving income or disability assistance.
- The balance (30%) of units are available at or below market rents for households with moderate incomes.
- The first CHF intake was in 2018 and the second intake consisted of a call for proposals with a two-stage close in fall 2020 and in January of 2021.
- Through the CHF and other provincial investments made since 2017, more than 76,000 homes are complete or underway throughout B.C.
Information about the Building BC: Community Housing Fund and request for proposal can be found here: https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/funding-opportunities/Building-BC
To learn more about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Homes_For_People.pdf
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/