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B.C.’s Community Housing Sector Applauds New Federal Rental Protection Fund

Collaborative initiative signals commitment to housing stability, preserving affordable homes and mitigating speculation in the housing market, say B.C. housing leaders

Vancouver, B.C. (Thursday, April 4) – B.C.’s community housing sector welcomes today’s announcement of a new $1.5-billion Canada Rental Protection Fund. This is an important step toward addressing the deepening housing crisis across the country and here in B.C. with the continuing loss of four existing affordable homes for every new affordable unit that is built.

The Housing Central partners – the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA), BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) – are proud to have pioneered the Rental Protection Fund approach here in B.C. and we are thrilled to see this successful model scaled up to the national level. We commend the federal government’s recognition of the urgent need to protect existing affordable rental and co-op homes, and the individuals and families who live in them.

The B.C. Rental Protection Fund, established in early 2023 with a $500-million fund from the provincial government, has so far approved capital contributions to protect more than 900 homes, including 290 co-op homes in Coquitlam, 16 homes for Indigenous families in Esquimalt and 108 affordable rental homes in Langley, and ensure the residents’ housing costs remain at below-market rates.

“This announcement couldn’t come at a more critical time – the erosion of affordability in the rental market continues to affect hundreds of thousands of renters right across the country,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of BCNPHA. “We look forward to working with our federal partners to ensure a smooth flow of funds through B.C.’s Rental Protection Fund so that non-profits can access provincial and federal dollars seamlessly.”

“We are encouraged to see the federal government take an active role in preserving affordable community housing by empowering non-profit providers to acquire and protect rental properties,” said Margaret Pfoh, CEO of AHMA. “We quickly learned from the B.C. Acquisition Fund that it’s hard to acquire buildings with a majority of Indigenous tenants, if any. So as a next step, we hope to see resources allocated to implement AHMA’s Indigenous housing strategy, which will help reduce vast inequities by specifically prioritizing those most vulnerable to housing precarity.”

“This is welcome and timely news,” added Thom Armstrong, CEO of CHF BC. “We are so pleased to see the federal government adopt an approach that’s already working in British Columbia through B.C.’s Rental Protection Fund, and we can’t wait to add federal dollars to B.C.’s already historic investment. Many more tenants will now enjoy the comfort of living in a safe, secure, permanently affordable home, and some will even be given the opportunity to convert their buildings to non-profit housing co-ops. It’s a good day for the community housing sector in B.C. and across the country.”

The allocation of $1.5 billion to the Canada Rental Protection Fund demonstrates a tangible commitment to protecting affordable housing and creating new opportunities for thousands of individuals and families in need of secure housing. The combination of $1 billion in loans and $470 million in contributions to non-profit organizations and other partners will play a crucial role in acquiring units and preserving rent prices in the long term.

As representatives of the housing sector in British Columbia, we remain committed to collaborating with all levels of government to address the housing crisis effectively. We look forward to further engagement and partnership opportunities to ensure that every individual and family in Canada has access to safe, affordable and sustainable housing.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

Aboriginal Housing Management Association
Kelly Moon

BC Non-Profit Housing Association
Sarah Payne

Co-operative Housing Federation of BC
Yuri Artibise

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