BC Local News / November 13, 2018 (with quote from BCNPHA CEO Jill Atkey)
Help is on the way for middle-income families in 42 communities, including Vernon, as the province moves forward with more than 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes as part of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.
“Years of inaction on the B.C. housing crisis left families struggling to get by and unable to get ahead,” said Premier John Horgan. “These new, affordable rental homes are an important step toward addressing the housing crisis and giving families in every part of the province a break from skyrocketing housing costs.”
Three projects in Vernon are being funded, which will equate to 78 homes
• $3 million to Canadian Mental Health Association, Vernon and District — 30 homes for seniors and families
• $1.2 million to Vernon and District Community Land Trust — 12 homes for seniors, people with disabilities and families
• $3.6 million to Vernon Pensioners Accommodation Society — 36 homes for seniors
See related: Lumby seeks more affordable housing
The new homes are designed to address the need for affordable housing across a range of income levels, in response to a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for even middle-class families.
Much like past investments in co-op and non-profit housing, individual buildings will contain units aimed at a mix of income levels, including homes for middle-income individuals and families, deeply subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers.
“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are building housing so that growing families, aging seniors and low- to moderate-income individuals can afford homes in the communities they live and work in,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new homes will have life-changing impacts for people and communities right across the province.”
The Province’s new Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years, will build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for seniors, families and low- and middle-income earners, with many to include childcare. These 4,900 homes, the first set of projects selected through this fund, will include both non-profits and co-ops and will be built over the next two to three years.
“This historic investment in the community housing sector is an investment in British Columbians struggling to find safe, secure and affordable housing,” said Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Non-profit housing partners are hard at work turning these dollars into homes and are committed to ensuring that what is affordable in our sector today, will remain affordable for generations to come.”
The Province, through BC Housing, selected the first set of projects based on a number of criteria, including targeted clients and the impact the project is expected to have in reducing the community’s affordable rental housing need.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the B.C. Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
“Co-ops and non-profit housing partners welcome this landmark investment in affordable, mixed-income communities all over British Columbia,” said Thom Armstrong, executive director, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC. “We applaud the government for delivering on its commitment to make life more secure and affordable for families and seniors who have struggled in this very challenging housing market.”