In its new Affordable Housing Plan
, the BC Rental Housing Coalition offered suggestions specifically aimed at “increase rental housing supply, close the affordability gap, and address chronic homelessness in the province.”
“The 10-year plan uses rental housing data, along with BC’s growth projections, recent homeless count results, the costs of development and assessments on the condition of BC’s social housing stock for each region of the province to make recommendations on improving housing affordability,” the Coalition said.
“Solving the housing crisis can only be achieved when the community housing sector works in partnership with senior levels of government to build affordable housing that is sustainable over the long-term and preserves existing homes.”
Key measures would be to implement an “average annual investment of $1.8 billion shared by the provincial and federal governments, and the community housing sector,” along with a renter’s grant that will “help stabilize people in their current homes.”
Such steps would greatly help in addressing the existing backlog (almost 80,000 units as of 2016) in affordable rental housing. The Coalition warned that the province will need an additional 7,000 units to keep up with the expected levels of demand over the next decade.
“Government must put in place policies that link affordable housing to transportation and health planning, and promote innovation in the area of shared equity home-ownership to provide affordable options for those who wish to buy,” the Coalition stated.
“We have a crisis on our hands in BC that has led to mass homelessness, severe overspending and overcrowding, as well as rising health care and justice costs,” Coalition chair Kishone Roy said.
“As we head into a provincial election where housing affordability is the number one issue, voters will be looking to candidates of all parties to support implementation of this plan, as well as any groups or individuals who believe that everybody should have a safe affordable home,” Roy added.
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Earlier this week, an advocacy coalition released its latest document detailing a series of proposed measures intended to yield immediate and impactful results in British Columbia, and especially in overheated Vancouver.