By Premier John Horgan
Every person in this province deserves a secure place to call home. But years of inaction on the B.C. housing crisis has left people unable to find affordable housing, and even middle-income families struggling to get by. We’re making different choices.
On Tuesday, our government made a historic announcement – 4,900 new affordable mixed-income rental homes will be built in 42 communities around the province. This new housing is the first to be delivered through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9 billion investment over 10 years to deliver 14,000 affordable rental homes for seniors, families, and low-and-middle income earners in B.C.
From Surrey, to Kamloops to Vancouver and Vanderhoof, the 72 projects will include new, affordable homes for people across a range of income levels.
The non-profits and co-ops will be built over the next two to three years. The new homes are designed to address the need for affordable housing for middle, moderate, and low-income earners, in response to a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for even middle-class families. The units will also include heavily subsidized rentals for seniors and people with disabilities, and homes for low wage workers.
It’s an important part of our work to take action on the housing crisis and give people a break from skyrocketing housing costs around B.C. It also means people in can stay in their communities, and be part of B.C.’s robust, sustainable economy.
Budget 2018 included the biggest investment in housing affordability in B.C.’s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years. We are beginning to see the impacts of that funding on the ground as part of our 30 point, cross-government plan to tackle supply, curb demand and provide more security for renters.
Our Rapid Response to Homelessness program has already been put into action. By the end of 2019, we will have built more than 2000 modular homes with 24/7 support services in 22 communities. So far, 600 modular homes have been built in four B.C. communities, helping people get out of tent cities, off the street, and on the path to opportunity.
We’ve also started 12 projects that will provide 280 safe new homes for women and children fleeing violence and abuse. And for the first time in Canadian history, a province has taken steps, together with Indigenous leaders, to directly address the housing needs of Indigenous communities on-reserve.
People need an opportunity to survive, thrive, and get ahead. That starts with knowing that you and your family have a place to come home to.
We’re working collaboratively across the aisle and with local partners to deliver safe, secure, and affordable housing for British Columbians. It’s good for people, it’s good for communities and it’s good for the economy. And it’s only the beginning.