On September 19, the BC Government announced that it would create 2,900 affordable rental units across BC. The money for this initiative—a whopping $500 million—is available through the new Housing Priority Initiatives program, which is largely funded by the foreign buyers’ tax.
The September announcement followed a commitment in the February provincial budget to invest $355 million in affordable rental housing over a five-year period. Together, the two programs are expected to yield 4,900 units of housing, which will include a mix of options, including new construction, to meet the needs of a wide variety of people all over BC.
In late November, 68 projects were announced, and a complete list is available on BC Housing’s website. Details are gradually coming available through government news releases, as well (visit https://news.gov.bc.ca and search for “rental housing”).
BCREA’s pleased with the initiative, appreciating a supply-side approach to this housing challenge. Although the Association doesn't agree with all of the government's actions during the last few months regarding the real estate sector, these rental units will have a meaningful impact for many citizens. In a September letter addressed to Premier Christy Clark, BCREA urged the government to take quick action and offered the assistance of REALTORS® to provide insight as the program is implemented.