The province has recently released Housing Matters BC: A Foundation for Strong Communities, an update of its 2006 housing strategy Housing Matters BC. Specific aspects of the updated housing strategy – which covers a range of housing issues including rental housing, ownership and building safety – are relevant to Tri-Cities Homelessness & Housing Task Group priorities.
The strategy acknowledges that demand for affordable housing is increasing and escalating property values mean more low-to-moderate income households are struggling with affordability. The province recognizes its critical role as a leader and active partner, acting as a catalyst for investment in housing and services, and the strategy aims to result in more social and affordable market housing options for low and moderate income households through partnerships with private and non-profit sectors. The province intends to ensure that safe, suitable and affordable housing forms offset high land costs in urban areas, encouraging people to stay and work in their community.
Housing Matters BC: A Foundation for Strong Communities recognizes that the province has an aging rental building stock in need of repair and at risk of being lost to redevelopment due to growth pressures in major urban centres, and sets a goal to increase supply, choice and improved accessibility of rental housing for low to moderate income households and vulnerable populations.
Specific commitments include:
- Improve access to affordable and stable rental housing for low to moderate income households;
- Expand successful financing programs for new affordable rental housing;
- Enhance rental assistance programs;
- Partner with non-profit housing sector, local governments and developers to increase housing options and ensure adequate supply of rental housing for low to moderate income households through innovation.
For a copy of Housing Matters BC: A Foundation for Strong Communities, click here.