Province secures affordable rental housing in Prince George
Jan. 21, 2020
PRINCE GEORGE – The Province is partnering with the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George to purchase a six-unit apartment complex, preserving rental housing and providing affordable options for Indigenous peoples in the community.
“By helping to purchase this building, we are protecting these affordable homes for people in Prince George,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Through this partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George, we’re keeping rents for these homes affordable for the residents and ensuring that needed upgrades are made to the building.”
Located at 2541 Oak St., the federal and provincial governments are providing joint funding of approximately $840,000 to finance the purchase and renovation of the building. Funding is being provided through the HousingHub, a BC Housing branch that works with community, government and non-profit and private-sector stakeholders to increase affordable rental housing and home ownership options for middle-income British Columbians. It acts as a centre for housing expertise and collaboration and helps create housing either through new construction or through redeveloping existing sites.
The complex consists of two one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. Renovations to these units will increase the building’s lifespan and ensure six homes for low- and middle-income Indigenous individuals and families remain accessible.
“We are excited to be able to keep these homes on the market,” said Christos Vardacostas, executive director, Aboriginal Housing Society of Prince George. “Having a home is fundamental, and this is a great opportunity for us to work with the Province to make sure these spaces stay affordable and available.”
The society has assumed ownership and operations of the residence. The current tenants of the building will not be affected by the acquisition. Monthly rents will be carried over at the same rates.
The society provides safe, healthy and affordable housing for Indigenous peoples in the region and serves approximately 500 people in Prince George on Lheidli T’enneh traditional territory.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- Through provincial investments, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in development for people with a range of incomes around the province, including close to 220 homes in Prince George.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Jan. 21, 2020
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 22,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live — from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Aug. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for middle-income earners (households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000) – approximately 4,120 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 1,500 rental homes for people with middle incomes.
- HousingHub: approximately 2,620 homes.
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes (including some where rents are based on 30% of household income and others with set rents, which are designed to be affordable; to moderate-income households, in most cases earning less than $70,000 annually) – approximately 9,320 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund: approximately 3,700 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: nearly 1,600 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Deepening Affordability Fund: more than 2,150 homes for low to moderate incomes.
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: approximately 1,170 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve.
- Regional Housing First Program: approximately 700 homes for people with low to moderate incomes.
Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness (shelter-rate housing) – approximately 3,060 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,064 homes with 24/7 support.
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: approximately 800 homes with 24/7 support.
- Regional Housing First Program: approximately 200 homes for those ready to live independently with supports.
Housing for women and children leaving violence – approximately 360 homes:
- Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: approximately 360 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence.
Housing for students – approximately 5,600 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: approximately 2,700 on-campus student housing units are underway or in the approvals process.
- Nearly 2,900 student housing units are also underway or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Total: approximately 22,460 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing