The B.C. government has committed to creating close to 2,900 new affordable rental units, set to roll out in the next two years across the province.
The units are apart of 68 housing projects, financed through a $516-million housing fund that was announced by Premier Christy Clark in September to provide more housing for low-income, seniors, special needs individuals, aboriginals, woman and children.
“It gives us the ability to make significant investments, put British Columbians first, and take immediate action to increase the rental supply in communities throughout B.C.,” Clark said.
Almost half of the units will be built in the Lower Mainland, including Richmond, Whistler, and Surrey at the Centre for Family Development, where the announcement was made Tuesday morning.
At the centre, a new 40-unit affordable housing development will be built to provide housing for low-to moderate-income single women with children with special needs. It’s being built in partnership with YWCA Metro Vancouver, with $4.7 million coming from the province.
The projects are estimated to produce 5,500 new jobs, Clark said.
Housing minister Rich Coleman said non-profit organizations and municipalities could be seeing the money for these projects by the end of the fiscal year, with 12 to 24 months of construction to follow.
He noted these some of these buildings will include wrap-around resources in the buildings such as addiction resources, mental-health workers and social workers.
Housing critic questions long-term plan
Despite Tuesday’s announcement meaning potential relief for those struggling to find affordable housing, New Democrat Official Opposition spokesperson David Eby questions whether the Liberal’s have a long-term plan in mind when it comes to a housing strategy.
He described the projects as a “positive step, following years of neglect,” and noted the date of the announcement as the next provincial election lingers.
“It’s unfortunate that this is an election year promise” he said. “There’s no long-range plan that extends beyond this election.”
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