Everyone in Canada deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that affordable housing is key to Canada’s recovery, including in communities such as Tofino.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Taleeb Noormohamed, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville and Josie Osborne, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Mid Island – Pacific Rim, and Dan Law, Mayor of the District of Tofino, announced a federal investment of nearly $7.6 million through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund to build 35 homes for families, seniors and members of the local community with low to moderate incomes in Tofino.
The Province of British Columbia, through BC Housing, is providing $3.7 million through their Building BC: Community Housing Fund and will provide approximately $218,000 in annual operational funding. The District of Tofino provided land for the project and waived half of the development cost charges ($134,000).
Tofino Housing Corporation (THC), formed to facilitate development and operation of below market housing in Tofino, entered into a ground lease with Catalyst Community Developments Society (Catalyst) with the land transferred to THC by the District. THC also contributed $340,000. Catalyst is the non-profit developer, owner and operator of the project.
Construction is underway and is expected to complete in spring 2023. The three-storey building features a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartment homes, including eight fully accessible units. There will also be indoor and outdoor common spaces, laundry facilities, bike parking and storage space for residents. A new access road will be built with a paved, separated path for walking, biking, and wheelchairs.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. With today’s announcement, our government is working with the Government of BC to create 35 homes for our most vulnerable, including families, seniors, and hard-working people in Tofino. Those who need it most will soon have access to new homes that are close to amenities and services that will help them maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle. This is another way that the National Housing Strategy ensures that no one is left behind.”
“Our government is pleased to partner with BC Housing, the District of Tofino, Catalyst, and Tofino Housing Corporation to build this much needed rental housing. Increased access to safe and affordable housing builds stronger communities. Our government is committed to tackling the housing crisis and relieving some of the burden faced by hard working middle class Canadians.”
“This rental apartment building, the first built in Tofino in over four decades, will provide 35 affordable homes for people working in all sectors of Tofino’s economy and enable them to escape the ‘housing shuffle’ for secure long-term rentals. The vision for this project has been led by the community for years, and it could not have happened without all levels of government — provincial, federal, and municipal — coming together to make a positive impact for Tofino families. Thank you to all of our partners, past and present, for working together to bring these homes to our community.”
“The federal and provincial governments' support for our local affordable housing projects has been amazing. We are looking forward to more Tofino residents having a permanent place to call home. Love it!”
“Our community has struggled for years with access to affordable housing and we are delighted that with the support from the Province and a strong partnership with Catalyst, that so many households are going to be able to put that housing stress behind them. These households are the employees, small-business owners, volunteers, families and seniors that make Tofino such a great place to live.”
“Catalyst is honoured to be working in Tofino to deliver housing that is affordable to local area incomes. Rental housing that is developed, owned and operated by non-profit organizations, working together with BC Housing, CMHC, THC and the District, is the innovation we need to scale and invest in.”
- Half of the units will be rent-geared-to-income where rent is 30% of the tenant’s income; 20% of the units will be rented to people with very low incomes, such as those receiving income or disability assistance; and the remainder will be at or below-market rent.
- The Tofino Housing Corporation, which was formed to facilitate development and operation of below market housing in Tofino, provided the land for the project, with a ground lease to Catalyst, after the land was transferred from the District to THC.
- THC also contributed $340,000 to the project with funds secured from the Rural Dividend Fund, District of Tofino and the Municipal Regional District Tax on short-term vacation rentals.
- Catalyst is the non-profit developer, owner and operator of the project.
- This project is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 30,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including 72 homes in Tofino.
- With a budget of $13.2 billion, the NHCF gives priority to projects that help people who need it most, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those with mental health or addiction issues, veterans and young adults.
- Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to build up to 60,000 new affordable homes and repair up to 240,000 existing affordable and community homes.
- Under the NHCF, investments are also planned to create or repair at least 4,000 shelter spaces for victims of family violence, as well as create at least 7,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable housing units for people with developmental disabilities.
- To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 provides an additional $2.5 billion over seven years in new funding and to reallocate $1.3 billion in previously announced funding to speed up the construction, repair, and support over 35,000 additional housing units.
- In Budget 2021, $750 million in existing funding under NHCF has been advanced to 2021 – 22 and 2022 – 23. This will accelerate the creation of 3,400 new units and the repair of 13,700 units. $250 million in existing funding will also be allocated to support the construction, repair, and operating costs of an estimated 560 units of transitional housing and shelter spaces for women and children fleeing violence. This funding will help the Government address gender-based violence.
- Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
- As of August 2021, the NHS has built over 68,700 new units of housing, repaired and renewed over 90,400 homes, and has reduced or eliminated housing need from 320,000 households.
- The Government of British Columbia’s Community Housing Fund is a provincial investment of $1.9 billion to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for low- and moderate-income families and individuals over 10 years.
- More than 8,800 of these homes are already open, under construction or in development in British Columbia.
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. CMHC’s aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, please visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online at: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC.
For information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Office of the Attorney General and Ministry Responsible for Housing (BC)
Tofino Housing Corporation
Project Information for Media
Catalyst Community Developments Society