The release of the 2020 provincial budget this week brought mixed results for the non-profit housing sector. We didn’t see the increased spending for new affordable housing units that we were hoping for, but there are some pieces of good news we want to share with you.
We are pleased to see the provincial government maintain its commitment to tackling the homelessness crisis in communities throughout BC. The budget includes funding for the development of 200 additional units of temporary modular and supportive housing, expanded budgets for meal programs, funding for 505 new shelter spaces, and the establishment of two new 60-bed navigation centres that will help people access housing placement services.
These are appropriate responses in a crisis, but until we see big new investments in affordable housing, we will remain in crisis response mode simply because we have insufficient affordable supply.
Upon closer inspection of the budget, we were disappointed to see that BC Housing’s service plan anticipates a slowdown in projected completions during the first four years of the 10-year plan. The reduced projections of 2,425 completed affordable homes is the result of projects taking longer to completion, but also because the BC Government has shifted $75 million from year three of the plan to year five.
We continue to support the government’s 10-year affordable housing plan, and we are calling for increased investments to match rising construction costs so that the targets can be met. The affordable housing crisis continues to escalate and now is not the time for government to slow down its investments.
We have been assured that the Call for Proposals under the Community Housing Fund will go ahead as anticipated later this spring. We encourage you to continue developing strong proposals to respond to the need for affordable housing in your community.
In the meantime, the BCNPHA team is available to assist you with any questions. Please reach out to us at 604-291-2600 or Marika Albert, Policy Director, at email@example.com or 778-945-2164.
For additional information about Budget 2020, please see the following: