B.C. providing funding to build new affordable homes
May 21, 2020
VICTORIA – The Government of B.C. is inviting non-profit and Indigenous housing societies, First Nations, housing co-operatives and municipalities to propose new affordable housing projects for the second intake of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.
Announced in 2018 as part of the Province’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan, the Community Housing Fund is an investment of $1.9 billion to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes for middle- and low-income families and individuals. In less than two years, more than 5,200 homes have been completed, are under construction or in development through this program in more than 40 communities.
The Province, through BC Housing, is opening the next request for proposals (RFP) for the Community Housing Fund. This RFP is the next step forward in the Province‘s 10-year plan and will fund approximately 3,000 new affordable homes.
“During these extraordinary times, it is clearer than ever that safe, secure and affordable housing is critical for all British Columbians,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new projects will deliver urgently needed rental homes for people, while also creating good jobs and supporting B.C.’s economic recovery.”
The Community Housing Fund supports mixed-income buildings where 20% of the units are for households with very low incomes (including those on income assistance), 50% of the units are for households with incomes up to $64,000 and 30% of the units are for households with incomes up to approximately $74,000.
Organizations are invited to submit project proposals to BC Housing beginning on May 27, 2020. The RFP will remain open until mid-January 2021. However, organizations are encouraged to apply early as an initial round of projects will be approved in fall 2020.
Funding is available to groups that applied for the first round of funding though the Community Housing Fund and to those who have applied for other Building BC funds. All Building BC funding programs are open to First Nations.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association –
“We applaud the Government of B.C. for prioritizing affordable housing in the midst of a global pandemic that has demonstrated just how critical housing is to our individual and collective health. These investments matter more than ever, and the community housing sector is ready and willing to partner on delivering these affordable homes in communities right across the province.”
Thom Armstrong, CEO, Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C. –
“This is very welcome news, and not a moment too soon. There is no better tonic for an economy in recovery mode than good jobs and affordable homes. This announcement promises both, and the community housing sector will be pleased to partner with the Province in delivering thousands of affordable homes for people who need them most.”
Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) –
“AHMA is confident in the innovation, determination and creativity that our members will submit in their RFPs for the Community Housing Fund. Our members make up one-third of all Indigenous housing providers in Canada, and together we look forward to continuing our work with the Province to create culturally appropriate and affordable housing so that every Indigenous person in B.C. can have a place to call home.”
Information about the Building BC: Community Housing Fund can be found here: http://www.bchousing.org/CHF
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 23,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live, from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for people with middle incomes
The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes
This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
Social housing or subsidized rents:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve
Housing for people with very low incomes
Rental housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes
Housing for students – 5,584 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
- 2,885 student housing units are also complete, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions
Total: 23,018 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect