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More than 20,000 new homes underway for people throughout B.C.

Press Release

Partnerships with organizations like the Union Gospel Mission, which is breaking ground on new housing for women and children, are behind the success of the more than 20,000 new homes complete or underway in nearly 80 communities throughout the province.

“Our government has acted quickly to address the urgent need for housing that people can afford,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “It is not just about increasing the number of homes. It is about working with our partners to build the right kind of homes to make life better for people at all ages, stages and income-levels.”

The Province is contributing $14.5 million to help build the Union Gospel Mission’s (UGM) new and expanded Women and Families Centre. The seven-storey building will provide 36 affordable rental homes, a new 28-space child care centre and 27 addiction recovery beds for women and children in the Downtown Eastside.

“This new building will not only save lives, but change the trajectory of entire families for generations,” said Bill Mollard, president, UGM. “It means fewer children in poverty, fewer women on the street and a future for families struggling to find housing.”

Women needing addictions support will have access to an on-site, long-term addiction recovery program – the only program of its kind in the Downtown Eastside. Other supports and services offered in the building will include counselling, life skills and career development.

“When I was homeless, it was horrible, but my life was transformed at UGM and I know this new building will help others like me,” said Emily Surrette, former UGM guest and single mother who was homeless for more than two years. “I’m really excited about the new building because it’s essentially a one-stop shop for child care, treatment, housing – all of these things. It’s really crucial for recovery.”

Located at 616 E. Cordova St., the new building is expected to open in mid-2021.

Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care –

“Single women and single-parent families headed by women often have a much harder time making ends meet and are more likely to experience poverty. By providing stable housing and free child care, the women living at this centre will be able to build a stronger foundation for themselves and their children and improve their families’ quality of life — not just for now, but into the future.”

Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant –

“The new women and families centre will have a tremendous impact for families in the Downtown Eastside. This centre will empower families who have been struggling for too long to access affordable housing, child care, training and treatment support all under one roof. These much-needed services will create positive pathways for members of our community to thrive.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province is working in partnership to increase the supply of affordable rental housing throughout B.C., including in Vancouver, where more than 2,600 new rental homes are completed, under construction or in development. This includes:
    • Community Housing Fund: 1,100 mixed-income homes
    • Indigenous Housing Fund: 230 homes for Indigenous peoples
    • Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 10 homes for women and children leaving violence
    • Supportive Housing Fund: 80 homes for people experiencing homelessness
    • Rapid Response to Homelessness (modular housing): 606 homes for people experiencing homelessness
    • Affordable Rental Housing program: more than 600 homes
  • Budget 2018 launched the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C. history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.

Learn More:

A map showing the location of all announced projects is available online:
https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians:
bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

A backgrounder follows.

Backgrounders

Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnerships to build affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians.

More than 20,000 new homes are completed, 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. This includes:

Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) – approximately 2,460 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
  • HousingHub: 960 rental homes.

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less that $70,000 annually) – approximately 9,200 homes:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,100 homes for low to moderate incomes.
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: more than 1,150 homes for Indigenous peoples, on and off reserve.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 600 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) – approximately 2,800 homes:

  • Rapid Response for Homelessness: more than 2,000 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: more than 550 homes with 24/7 support.
  • Regional Housing First Program: more than 170 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.

Housing for women and children leaving violence – approximately 340 homes:

  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: approximately 340 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.

Housing for students – approximately 5,600 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
  • Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.

Total: approximately 20,400 homes

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