Families and vulnerable Canadians in need of an affordable place to call home can count on long-term funding for community housing in British Columbia thanks to an agreement signed today by the federal and provincial governments.
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Selina Robinson, British Columbia’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, today announced they have reached a bilateral agreement under the National Housing Strategy (NHS). This agreement, which will be cost-shared by the governments of Canada and British Columbia, demonstrates a joint commitment to prioritize affordable housing.
The 10-year agreement will invest more than $990 million to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and will support the priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability in Homes for BC, the provincial government’s 30 point plan for housing affordability in British Columbia. The governments of Canada and British Columbia will also work together on the design and implementation of a new Canada Housing Benefit for the province, to provide affordability support directly to families and individuals in housing need. The new agreement marks the beginning of a partnership that will be supported by long-term and predictable funding starting April 1, 2019.
This is a progressive housing agreement that commits the governments of Canada and British Columbia to new and higher standards of transparency, public engagement, and housing quality, including improved energy efficiency and accessibility. The agreement also acknowledges the importance of prioritizing people most in need, incorporating a human rights-based approach to housing, and applying a gender lens to all investments.
“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home. Long-term, predictable funding for housing has been needed for more than a decade. Today, with the British Columbia government, we have taken a significant step toward our goal of building strong communities where Canadians can prosper and thrive, now and for the future. The federal government, in partnership with British Columbia and other provinces and territories, is working towards a 15% expansion in new affordable housing units and renewing 20% of existing community housing units across the country.”
“This agreement will help more British Columbians find homes they can afford. The new investment from the federal government will build on the $7 billion investment that the Province is making as part of our 30-point housing plan. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Minister Duclos on building the housing that the people in our province need.”
- The $991.1 million cost-shared investment announced today is in addition to in $705 million previously planned federal housing investments in British Columbia through the Social Housing Agreement (SHA) over the next 10 years. In addition to new construction, combined investments under the NHS bilateral agreement and the SHA will target the preservation of at least 34,491 existing community housing units in British Columbia.
- The NHS is an ambitious 10-year, $40-billion plan that will remove 530,000 families from housing need across Canada, create 100,000 new housing units, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
- The NHS is built on strong partnerships between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private housing sectors. This includes consultations with Canadians from all walks of life, and people with lived experience of housing need.
- All NHS investments delivered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments will respect the key principles of the NHS that support partnerships, people and communities.
- British Columbia will develop and publish three-year action plans, beginning in 2019 – 2020, setting targets and outlining how it will use federal and cost-matched funding to achieve the desired outcomes.
- To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.'s housing market and helping to build 114,000 units of affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchased housing through partnerships.
- The Government of British Columbia is making the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C. history — more than $7 billion over 10 years. This includes more than $1 billion in funding to preserve existing social housing, as well as funding for four new provincial housing funds:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund — close to $1.9 billion over 10 years to build and operate 14,350 affordable new rental homes, through partnerships with municipalities, non-profit housing providers, housing co-ops, and Indigenous organizations.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund — $1.2 billion over 10 years to build and operate 2,500 units of supportive housing for those that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund — $734 million over 10 years to build and operate 1,500 new units of housing including transition houses, safe homes, second-stage and long-term housing.
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund — $550 million over 10 years to build and operate 1,750 units of social housing, on- and off-reserve.
As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about Canada’s National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Read Homes for B.C., the British Columbia government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
To find out more about what the B.C. government is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
Office of Minister Duclos
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing