BCNPHA in the News

The Tyee: Housing Is a Human Right. Give Politicians These Tests

B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association CEO Jill Atkey, Aboriginal Housing Management Association CEO Margaret Pfoh and Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C. CEO Thom Armstrong; the Tyee, October 13, 2022

Affordable housing is a topic that impacts nearly every single British Columbian. It will be top of mind for many as they head to the voting booth in municipal elections across the province on Oct. 15. And it’s no wonder — we have experienced a substantial increase in the cost of housing over the past four years, on top of other cost of living increases.

The unfortunate reality is that when it comes to housing policy, the status quo has left communities across our province with an entrenched crisis that continues to worsen. Our three organizations — the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association — are on the frontlines of this urgent situation. For years, we have continued to see more talk than action from elected officials at every level of government.

While politicians of all stripes acknowledge the gravity of affordability issues, not all have demonstrated a willingness to take the bold action needed to properly address it. Housing is a human right, but it has become a commodity.

Growing the community housing sector

Make Housing Central is a partnership of organizations representing B.C.’s community housing sector: BC Non-Profit Housing Association, the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.

Our organizations have a long-standing history of gathering forces during election time to ensure that all parties and candidates “make housing central” in their campaigns, and to strengthen and grow the community housing sector to ensure everyone in B.C. has access to a safe, affordable home.

Each of our organizations reflect the diverse range of housing options British Columbia needs — options that reflect our residents’ own diversity in identity, family and lifestyle. However, too many are faced with no options at all in the current economic reality. How do we fix this?

Through land use, zoning laws and housing approvals, municipalities play a key role in shaping the future of communities as they wield a unique set of tools to encourage affordable housing. Each new home contributes to the desperately needed housing supply that will support our province decades into the future.

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