Housing Advocates Welcome Commitment to Affordable Housing in Provincial BudgetPosted
Victoria, B.C. (Sept. 11, 2017) – The 2017 budget update shows a clear commitment by the provincial government to prioritize affordable housing. With the announcement of 3,700 new affordable units and 6,700 currently in the pipeline, British Columbia will have more than 10,000 new affordable units rolling out over the next several years.
Together, the new measures contained in the budget approach $700 million in new affordable housing for B.C.’s communities, along with $800 million in additional supports for our province’s most vulnerable citizens.
Kishone Roy, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association, said: “Combined with previous announcements, the first year of Housing Central’s 10-year affordable housing plan has been funded, with the Province also committing to fund the next nine years.”
Thom Armstrong, executive director of the Co-op Housing Federation of BC, says: “We look forward to working with our partners at Housing Central, all levels of government and the broader community housing sector to be part of the housing solution for British Columbians over the next decade.”
In addition to capital investments, this budget update demonstrates a comprehensive approach to the affordability crisis through prioritizing the housing and support needs of B.C.’s vulnerable renters and homeless populations. Support measures include:
- 24/7 supports for homeless individuals in 2,000 new units of housing
- An immediate $100 increase for people on income assistance, as well as the ability for recipients to earn an additional $200 in employment income without affecting their benefits
- New investments to address the fentanyl crisis
- An increase in funding to support Residential Tenancy Branch dispute backlogs, wait times, and improved enforcement capabilities.
These investments set up the Province to develop a comprehensive strategy to address housing affordability over the long term, including an action plan to address homelessness. “Combining new units with supports shows a commitment to saving the lives of the most vulnerable among us, and making a commitment to modular housing demonstrates that the government desires immediate action on addressing homelessness,” added Roy.
Summary of new investments:
|Housing and Supports||Investment|
|Construction of 1,700 new units||$208M|
|Construction of 2,000 new modular units for homeless individuals||$291M|
|24/7 staffing and support in modular units||$170M|
|Income and Addictions Crisis Supports|
|Increase of $100/month for income and disability assistance||$472M|
|TOTAL INVESTMENT INTO HOUSING AND SUPPORTS||$1.463B|
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