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

More Kootenay-Columbia students for a third straight year

Enrolment across School District 20 is up 175 students since 2016

Stolen vintage motorcyle returned undamaged in Nakusp

The thieves were unable to start the antique racer and abandoned it in a vacant Nakusp garage

Trail Smoke Eaters grind out win over Vernon Vipers

Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson scored the game winner in a 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers

Tea, crafts, music and dance this weekend in Greater Trail

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21

Car accident prompts advisory from Greater Trail RCMP

Extrication by regional firefighters; driver and passenger walked away with minor injuries

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Judge orders White House to return press pass to CNN’s Acosta

U.S. District Court Judge will decide on White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta

WikiLeaks chief could see charges, US court filing suggests

Charges against Julian Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russia co-ordinated with the Trump campaign

Federal MPs denounce controversial Facebook post targeting Sajjan

Okanagan Conservatives apologize for controversial Facebook post

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Migrants streaming into Tijuana, but now face long stay

U.S. border inspectors are processing about 100 asylum claims a day at the main border crossing with San Diego

One month after legalization, illicit cannabis shops doing brisk business

When asked what has changed since Canada legalized on Oct. 17, one staffer said: “We’re just busier.”

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Most Read