BC Non-Profit Housing Association provides leadership and support to members in creating and supporting a high standard of affordable housing throughout British Columbia. We are an organization that exists to forward the cause of affordable housing and empower those who work within it – we accomplish this in part by coordinating advocacy campaigns, conducting extensive research on housing, and bringing players in the housing sector closer together through educational conferences and networking events.
Non-profit housing is rental housing that is owned and operated by community-based non-profit societies. The mandates of these societies is to provide safe, secure affordable accommodation to households with low to moderate incomes or special needs. Most non-profit housing societies receive some form of financial assistance from government to enable them to offer affordable rents. Each society operates independently under the direction of a volunteer board of directors. Most employ staff to manage the day-to-day operations, though volunteers run some smaller societies. Non-profit housing is not public housing.
BCNPHA does not provide housing services; however, there are several other ways to apply for housing. Contact BC Housing (the provincial housing authority) at www.bchousing.org. Applicants can now apply through the Housing Registry, a current, centralized database of applicant information for housing providers and a single application point for households who wish to apply for housing in the Lower Mainland. The Housing Registry makes it possible for applicants to apply for housing with multiple housing providers by contacting one agency and completing one application form.
BCNPHA defines affordable housing in the same way that major Canadian housing agencies do – if you’re spending no more than 30% of your pre-tax household income on rent and utilities, it is considered affordable.
The terms affordable and social housing are often confused. While all social housing is affordable, the term ‘social housing’ refers more specifically to housing that is subsidized by a level of government. Affordable housing includes housing provided by the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and all forms of housing tenure (i.e. rental, ownership and cooperative ownership). It also includes temporary as well as permanent housing. In other words, the term “affordable housing” can refer to any part of the housing continuum from temporary emergency shelters through transition housing, supportive housing, subsidized housing, market rental housing or market homeownership. (HomelessHub – Canadian Observatory on Homelessness )
Housing co-operatives can also be affordable housing if they meet the 30% rule. However, a few things distinguish co-op housing from other forms of community housing. Co-ops are based on community ownership rather than a tenant/landlord style model, where all those living in the community are part owners and members of the housing cooperative. On a regular basis, these members elect a board of directors to represent their interests and make decisions about co-operative governance. For more information on housing co-ops, please visit https://chfcanada.coop or contact email@example.com.
The Canadian Rental Housing Index provides a solid, data-driven foundation for policy-making decisions at all levels of government. It is updated continually as new data becomes available. The Index uses supply and affordability data from the 2016 census to measure the health of rental housing across Canada. The RHI can be found at the link here.
BCNPHA also holds an extensive database of non-profit assets. This information can be made available upon request for the purpose of research and housing needs studies.
For more information or guidance on how to get what you are looking for out of the RHI data or to access our non-profit asset database, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your question/objective.
Membership offers education, support, and services to those in the community housing sector. Members receive preferential pricing for events, and education courses. Housing societies can access programs and services to save money and increase revenue. Associate members include the wider non-profit sector, government organizations, and the private sector. For more information and to apply for membership or view a list of all membership benefits, please visit our membership page or email email@example.com.
If you are a non-profit housing provider here in BC, you are off to a great start. We have an application form on our “Become a Member” page, with a great deal more information about the eligibility, benefits, and costs associated with your membership. If you have any further questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not a non-profit-housing provider – fear not. We have an associate class of membership designed for those who play a role in the affordable housing sector, but do not actually house tenants. We also prorate our membership fees based on when you sign up.
If there are any changes to your point of contact, membership status, or other information pertinent to your membership with BCNPHA, please contact
You can pay your fees online with a credit card through our member portal, or through mailed cheque to 1651 Commercial Drive, Suite 220, Vancouver, British Columbia V5L 3Y3.
Events, Conferences, Tradeshows, and Awards
BCNPHA is involved in hosting a number of Regional Education, Networking, and Tradeshow events every year, and we cap off the year with our annual Housing Central Conference – the largest housing conference in Canada. Furthermore, you can visit our events calendar https://bcnpha.ca/events/calendar/ to learn about more events coming up throughout the housing sector.
If you’d like to find out more information about our RENTs, check out the RENT here. You will be able to register directly through this page.
BCNPHA Awards exist to recognize the achievements of individuals or organizations in and around the housing sector who have worked to forward the cause of non-profit housing and toward ending homelessness. Awards exist for both members and non-members. You can find out more information on our awards page. Nominations are submitted through the specific award pages.
To submit a proposal to speak at our annual conference, visit the Housing Central website here and download our call for proposal form. Usually, this form is available by the end of January. The 2020 Housing Central Conference call for proposals is now closed.
We favour proposals that are clear in their session learning objectives and which focus on a topic with strong relevance to the non-profit housing sector. One would also want to ensure that proposed presenters have facilitation experience. Proposals that feature clear learning objectives, relevance, and practical applicability to non-profit housing stakeholders are prioritized.
RENT and Housing Central Conference tradeshow booths provide a fantastic opportunity for vendors to demonstrate their latest products and services. It is a unique opportunity to share expertise and market your organization to senior executives, property managers, government representatives and frontline staff.
If you would like to be added to the call-out list for upcoming events, please email email@example.com.
Tradeshow call-outs are posted 2-3 months in advance of each RENT event. If you would like to be added to the call-out list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and specify which RENT event you are interested in.
Tradeshow bookings are accepted on first-come, first-served basis, and we cannot guarantee capacity. To secure a guaranteed tradeshow booth space at this year’s events and for more information about the Housing Central Conference, please contact email@example.com to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
Delegate registration for the 2020 Housing Central Conference will open in the last week of September, 2020. Please check back on the Housing Central Conference website to for more details. A registration guide will be made available in advance of the conference.
COVID-19 has greatly impacted our ability to hold our traditional in-person events. We are working hard to cultivate new ways to connect our sector through digital technologies. We’ve held our first virtual RENT event in June 2020 and are engaged in planning our first-ever virtual Housing Central Conference in December 2020. Information about registration can be found in the previous question, and on our Housing Central Conference website.
BCNPHA provides a broad range of training, education and professional development opportunities to assist non-profits in developing and delivering high quality affordable. Whether you’re a new board volunteer in the non-profit housing sector or an established professional, we have a variety of educational offerings to pave your career path or skills. Our educational offerings are easy to access and designed to be flexible to your needs.
- Education offerings at our regular events – RENTs and the annual Housing Central Conference
- A comprehensive webinar program
- Various courses offered through Housing U, our online learning platform
Visit the education tab on our website: https://bcnpha.ca/education/.
If you have any further questions about education programs, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you some ideas about the best educational pathway for you.
As of now, HousingU courses are not accredited. Some of our partner education programs offer accreditation in the field, such as the CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing) program and courses offered through Langara college. More information can be found at https://bcnpha.ca/education/partner-education-programs/.
We design our education content to be applicable to both our membership and the wider sector. For the majority of the education services that we offer, there is a discounted rate for BCNPHA members.
The BCNPHA asset management department offers a number of different services to both our members and other non-profit housing providers. First, we offer energy efficiency retrofit coaching, wherein we help organizations find every possible funding opportunity for energy efficiency retrofit projects, assist with utility company rebate applications, assist societies through BC housing funding programs, provide best practice guidelines, and review documents for non-profits to ensure policies and procedures are prepared for these types of retrofits.
We offer a range of capital planning services that both help members of the non-profit housing sector learn how to capital plan themselves, as well as support them through the process. We offer HousingU courses that help participants understand the process of capital planning better and enable them to engage in capital planning themselves. Furthermore, we offer one-on-one coaching free over the phone and for a fee in person to help guide folks in the non-profit housing sector through the process. Furthermore, we will develop capital plans for a fee for those who would like their capital plan created for them.
BCNPHA offers a variety of programs and services to non-profit housing societies to support and strengthen the capacity of the sector. From group insurance and property management, to energy efficiency and capital planning, we are committed to providing our members with programs and services that save money and make them more energy efficient. BCNPHA Partner Programs are programs that partner with industry leaders to provide you with access to our preferred suppliers for best deals and exclusive rates.
Participation allows you to save money, increase revenue, and lets your association and partners do the work.
Our partner programs are designed to save money for members of BCNPHA, and for access to most of our partner programs, membership is compulsory.
Becoming a BCNPHA partner program must yield demonstrable benefits and reduce cost and improve access to resources for the non-profit housing sector. It is a lengthy process that includes rigid vetting and cost-benefit analysis. It begins with a conversation with our staff.
We have a wide range of partner programs available, designed to reduce cost and improve access to resources that help non-profit housing societies function. For more information and for a full list of partner programs we offer, please review the BCNPHA Partner Programs guide for more information. The guide can be found here.