The federal government will be investing $75 million into affordable and accessible housing for B.C. residents.
The government made the announcement on Tuesday morning. In an effort to provide every Canadian with safe and affordable housing, the National Housing Strategy was launched and a memorandum of intent was signed with the government of B.C.
Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End, outlined the details of the investment and how it will benefit B.C. families. The investment will come through the National Housing Strategy and will include the construction of 1,500 affordable units across the province.
The National Housing Strategy is a 10-year, $55 billion plan to create 100,000 housing units, repair 300,000 existing units and reduce homelessness in the province by 50 per cent.
The memorandum of intent details a five-year plan for a federal investment into 1,000 units to be built under the Building B.C.: Supportive Housing Fund and another 500 units to be planned as part of the Building B.C.: Women’s Transition Housing Fund.
The allocation of at least 33 per cent of the investment to women and children fleeing violence is very important, said Duclos, because women with children often struggle with low incomes and may have trouble finding affordable housing.
Chandra Herbert, who spoke on behalf of Selina Robinson — B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing — said he understands that some folks in abusive situations stay in a relationship because they have nowhere else to live.
“We don’t want people to ever have to make that choice,” said Chandra Herbert. “We welcome this investment from the federal government that will help us ensure that more British Columbians in need find safe and affordable housing.”
The affordable units will also be accessible to senior citizens, Indigenous Peoples, people living with mental health and addictions, young people, veterans, individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community and those with disabilities.
Applications from organizations seeking funding for housing to support marginalized folks will be taken online as of today, said Chandra Herbert.
It’s not clear yet how much funding will be received by organizations on Vancouver Island.