A high-level look at some of the programs and outcomes supported by BC Housing over the past fiscal year.
Developing and preserving affordable housing
Since 2001, the B.C. government has added close to 26,500 new units of affordable housing. Nearly 24,000 are complete, with the remainder in development or under construction.
A 2001 study for the B.C. government found it cost $30,000 to $40,000 per year to support one person who is homeless compared to $22,000 to $28,000 for a person who is housed.
The Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) Program helps make rent more affordable for B.C. seniors with low to moderate incomes. SAFER provides cash assistance to eligible B.C. residents who are age 60 or over and who rent their homes. Close to 19,900 seniors’ households in B.C. received SAFER benefits as of March 31, 2016.
Women in need
Last year, more than 12,300 women and children fleeing violence were assisted by provincially funded transition houses, second-stage housing and safe homes.
- The B.C. government provides approximately $32 million annually to support more than 830 spaces in transition and safe houses as well as second-stage housing through the Women’s Transition House and Supports Program. Provincial funding ensures 24/7 staffing at all transition houses.
- There are approximately 250 provincially funded emergency shelter spaces for women or women with children across B.C.
- There are eight women-only developments providing more than 380 housing units in Vancouver.
Aboriginal housing supports
- Since 2001, more than 1,150 housing units specifically designated for Aboriginal Peoples have been created. This includes more than 200 off-reserve units that have been built through the Aboriginal Housing Initiative to provide safe, secure and culturally appropriate housing for Aboriginal youth, women, elders and those struggling with addictions.
- The B.C. government has transferred administration of approximately 4,420 units of Aboriginal social housing to the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (as of March 2016).
- Approximately 120 additional units dedicated to supporting Aboriginal Peoples are in development or under construction (as of March 2016).
- Aboriginal outreach teams provide support in 17 communities across B.C: Dawson Creek, Duncan, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langford, Metchosin, North Saanich, Oak Bay, Prince George, Saanich, Sidney, Sooke, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria and View Royal.
- Please note that Aboriginal Peoples are supported in all categories of the housing continuum, not just in housing specifically dedicated to Aboriginal Peoples.
Introduced in 2006, the Rental Assistance Program provides eligible low-income, working families with a household income of less than $35,000 a year with cash assistance to help with their monthly rent payments in the private market.
- Close to 10,200 low-income working families receive direct monthly cash assistance (as of March 2016).
- Approximately 70 per cent of the families receiving a Rental Assistance Program subsidy are single mothers supporting their children (as of March 2016).
- More than 34,800 unique households have received a Rental Assistance Program subsidy since its inception in 2006.
New home construction
- 18,566 new homes in multi-unit buildings registered in 2015, up 15.6% compared to 2014.
- 11,811 new single detached homes registered in 2015, up 4.1% compared to 2014.
- 4,319 new homes in rental buildings registered in 2015, up 47.9% compared to 2014.