Province secures affordable rental housing


January 21, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE - The Province is partnering with the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George to purchase a six-unit apartment complex, preserving rental housing and providing affordable options for Indigenous peoples in the community.

“By helping to purchase this building, we are protecting these affordable homes for people in Prince George,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Through this partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George, we’re keeping rents for these homes affordable for the residents and ensuring that needed upgrades are made to the building.”

Located at 2541 Oak St., the federal and provincial governments are providing joint funding of approximately $840,000 to finance the purchase and renovation of the building. Funding is being provided through the HousingHub, a BC Housing branch that works with community, government and non-profit and private-sector stakeholders to increase affordable rental housing and home ownership options for middle-income British Columbians. It acts as a centre for housing expertise and collaboration and helps create housing either through new construction or through redeveloping existing sites.

The complex consists of two one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. Renovations to these units will increase the building’s lifespan and ensure six homes for low- and middle-income Indigenous individuals and families remain accessible.

“We are excited to be able to keep these homes on the market,” said Christos Vardacostas, executive director, Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George. “Having a home is fundamental, and this is a great opportunity for us to work with the Province to make sure these spaces stay affordable and available.”

The society has assumed ownership and operations of the residence. The current tenants of the building will not be affected by the acquisition. Monthly rents will be carried over at the same rates.

The society provides safe, healthy and affordable housing for Indigenous peoples in the region and serves approximately 500 people in Prince George on Lheidli T’enneh traditional territory.

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 Fact:

  • Through provincial investments, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in development for people with a range of incomes around the province, including close to 220 homes in Prince George.

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 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.

Media Contacts:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
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:

  • 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