B.C. Government commits $500 million to affordable rental housing

BURNABY, B.C. – The B.C. Government announced today that they are committing $500 million dollars to affordable renting in the province. This is the largest investment in a single year, by any province in Canada.

2,900 rental units will be created. These will be in partnership with government, local governments, non-profit societies and other groups.

This funding is adding onto the already $355 million dollars that was announced earlier this year, with those funds going towards 2,000 more units of affordable housing in B.C. This brings the total investment announced this year to $855 million.

The funding for the new housing will come from the newly created Housing Priority Initiatives Special Account.

“This is another significant step towards helping more people find an affordable place to live,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Thanks to our growing, diverse economy, we’re able to make the largest affordable housing investment in one year by any province in Canadian history, and we will continue to work with community partners and all levels of government to keep putting British Columbians first.”

The announcement today comes after other funding announcements were made earlier this year:

  • Implementing a 15% additional property transfer tax that applies to foreign purchasers of residential real estate in Metro Vancouver;
  • Strengthening consumer protection in B.C.’s real estate market through increased oversight and accountability of real estate licensees;
  • Introducing a new luxury tax on properties that sell for more than $2 million; and
  • Introducing a Newly Built Homes exemption, which has helped nearly 5,500 families save an average of $7,600 on their newly built homes.

The 6 principles of housing affordability are:

  1. Ensuring the dream of home ownership remains within the reach of the middle class
  2. Increasing housing supply
  3. Smart transit expansion
  4. Supporting first-time home buyers
  5. Ensuring consumer protection
  6. Increasing rental supply

“We are taking meaningful steps to address housing affordability challenges in B.C.,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Responsible for Housing. “The purchase of existing units from the private market helps provide an immediate housing solution while the construction of new housing will ensure that the developments are predesigned to meet the specific needs of individuals and families.”

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