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New affordable rental homes open in Nanaimo


December 20, 2019

NANAIMO – Twenty-seven new affordable homes are now available for moderate- to middle-income families and individuals with the opening of a new rental apartment building in Nanaimo.

“People deserve to have access to safe and affordable housing in our community,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “I want to thank our community partners, like the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society, who are working with us to make sure people have a good place to call home.”

Located at 858 Georgia Ave., the building provides one- and two-bedroom rental homes for households with annual incomes ranging between approximately $44,000 and $68,000. Monthly rental rates range between $1,100 and $1,700. With vacancy rates in Nanaimo at around 2.5%, these new homes will provide much-needed additional rental supply to the community.

The development was purchased by the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society with support from a BC Housing program called the HousingHub, which was created by the Province in 2018. Government is providing approximately $9 million in low-cost financing, which will reduce the project costs for the society. Those savings will be passed on to the people who live there through lower monthly rental rates.

The society will manage day-to-day operations of the building. People have just started to move into their new homes.

“This new project is a welcome addition to our housing stock for moderate- and middle-income singles, couples and small families,” said Andrea Blakeman, CEO, Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society. “It’s really a lovely building and will be a great place for people to call home. We are very pleased to be working with the Province and the HousingHub on creative projects like this, which benefit the whole Island community with expanded affordable housing choices to suit a wide variety of families and needs.”

The project, which was completed in October 2019, is conveniently located next to a grocery store and is close to parks and Vancouver Island University.

“We thank BC Housing and the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society for their ongoing investments to provide a variety of affordable housing options to meet the needs of our community,” said Leonard Krog, mayor, City of Nanaimo. “This important project meets the goals set out in the city’s Affordable Housing Strategy to increase rental opportunities for low- to- moderate-income households in a location that is walkable to schools, shops and recreational opportunities.”

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

Quick Facts:

  • The HousingHub works with community, government and non-profit and private-sector stakeholders to help create new affordable rental housing and home-ownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
  • Through provincial investments, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in development for people with a range of incomes throughout the province. This includes more than 880 homes in Nanaimo.

Learn More:

HousingHub: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/housinghub

A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. 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

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Media Relations
778 584-2433

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org

BACKGROUNDER

Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.

Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 23,000 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. As of Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:

Housing for people with middle incomes

The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year – 2,802 homes:

  • HousingHub: 2,802 homes

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes

This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:

Affordable market:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes

Social housing or subsidized rents:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off- reserve

Housing for people with very low incomes

Rental housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:

  • Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
  • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes

Housing for students – 5,584 homes:

  • BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
  • 2,885 student housing units are also completed, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions

Total: 23,018 homes

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
778 584-2433

BC Housing
media@bchousing.org