(Wikimedia Commons)

$1.8B a year to reverse affordable housing crisis

The funding will be use to increase the housing supply province-wide

The BC Rental Housing Coalition has released a proposal to fix the affordable housing crisis in the province, bringing municipalities and not-for-profits into the funding plan.

Created by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC and LandlordBC, the Affordable Housing Plan for BC estimates that $1.8 billion per year for 10 years would increase the rental housing supply, close the affordability gap and address chronic homelessness across the province.

“The cost of inaction is much more expensive than action,” said Kishone Roy, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association.

“The problem is very much solvable,” said David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC.

In addition to the $691 million over the 10 years the federal and provincial governments would invest, the report proposes that community groups, municipalities, and non-profits would fund the leftover $461 million through land contributions, leveraging equity from assets, private donations and financing.

In February, the Metro Vancouver task force on homelessness released 12 recommendations, again calling on the provincial and federal governments to create and fund a provincial poverty reduction plan.

The $1.8 billion in funding would be used to create about 80,000 new units, or about $7,000 each year – the estimated number of backlogged rental spaces, according to the report.

At least 3,500 of the new units that need to be built in B.C. must be affordable housing, according to Roy.

The funds would also provide a boost to income assistance to address the affordability gap – the difference between what renters pay for shelter and what they can afford.

According to the report, 117,000 renter households required some form of income assistance for rental payments last year.

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