B.C., Ottawa sign nearly $1-billion housing agreement

10-year deal will help build and repair social and low-income homes

Families scrambling for housing in B.C. could soon have an easier time finding affordable homes, following a $990-million bilateral agreement signed by the province and Ottawa Tuesday.

The 10-year agreement, which begins next April, will “protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and will support the priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability” outline in the province’s Homes for B.C. plan.

The 30-point plan was outlined by provincial finance minister Carol James in February.

A provincial spokesperson said that the $990 million will be cost shared 50-50 between the two levels of government and will preserve close to 35,000 social housing and community housing units in B.C. for people with low-moderate incomes.

The funds will also expand the number of rent-assisted units.

The province said it will be developing “three-year action plans” starting in 2019-2020 to establish “mutually agreed targets>.”

Neither B.C. nor Ottawa have released a copy of the bilateral agreement.

Thom Armstrong, the executive director for the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, called the money an “unparalleled commitment” to housing in the province.

“Knowing that there is stable, ongoing funding for the next decade will allow our sectors to move forward on improving existing housing and pursuing innovative partnerships to create thousands of new homes,” Armstrong added.


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