B.C. announces 670 subsidized units in next phase of rental housing plan

Premier David Eby says the second phase of a housing partnership between the province, Metro Vancouver and Vancouver-area non-profit housing providers will deliver up to 670 below-market rental units. B.C. Premier David Eby listens during an announcement in Delta, B.C., on Monday, March 18, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The second phase of a homebuilding partnership between the province and Metro Vancouver will deliver up to 670 below-market rental units in four separate urban areas, Premier David Eby said Thursday.

Phase 2 of the partnership follows a memorandum of understanding signed last year between the British Columbia government and Metro Vancouver Housing to create 2,000 affordable rental homes over the next decade, he said.

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Provincial housing targets proving challenging

Eby and Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon announced the details of the housing plans at a construction site for one of the proposed developments on Vancouver’s Westside.

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Phase 2 projects are planned for locations in North Vancouver, the City of Vancouver and two locations in Coquitlam, with the province providing $226 million and Metro Vancouver contributing land and cash worth more than $367 million.

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“Our government’s commitment around housing is to do everything possible to address the housing crisis,” said Eby, adding the pledge involves “every imaginable avenue that we can take to make sure that people have the ability to build a decent life in our province.”

The premier cited recent government laws, regulations and programs to build and increase the supply of affordable housing, including placing restrictions on short-term rentals, building rental units near transit lines and targeting public lands for middle-income homes.

Eby said the government has also committed to fund a third phase of affordable rental housing units starting in 2028, but the sites have yet to be confirmed.

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More affordable rentals for British Columbians with new incentive program

Phase 1, with a government investment of $158 million, includes a Vancouver project currently under construction and slated for completion in 2025 with 87 affordable, market rental homes.

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The Ministry of Housing says Metro Vancouver Housing is one of B.C.’s largest non-profit housing operators and developers, serving about 10,000 people with more than 3,400 affordable rental homes on 49 sites.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2024.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said the partnership involves the province, Metro Vancouver and non-profit housing providers. In fact it involves the province and Metro Vancouver through Metro Vancouver Housing.

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