Expanding the supply of affordable housing

The lack of affordable housing – including lower-end market housing and social housing – continues to be a serious concern in Metro Vancouver. The housing demand far outstrips supply, creating long waitlists, homelessness and impacts to the local economy.

More about the Issue

Regional Affordable Housing Strategy Metro Vancouver Housing Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Study

Questions

 

If elected, will your party maintain and expand funding levels and priorities of the national housing strategy?

 

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    With approximately 10,000 people on the BC Housing waitlist and a growing population, Metro Vancouver estimates it will need more than 5,500 new rental units every year for the next 10 years in order to meet critical demand for affordable housing across the region. This includes lower-end market housing, subsidized housing and social housing.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, the federal government was a major partner in the development of affordable housing across the country, ensuring rents remained affordable. But, with the federal government’s withdrawal from the affordable housing space in the 1990s and 2000s, the supply of affordable housing hasn’t kept up with demand.

    The recently implemented National Housing Strategy has been a major step towards addressing the housing affordability crisis felt acutely in Metro Vancouver, but more can and must be done to build up supply.


If elected, will your party increase the CMHC’s grant programs in order to more fully expedite the building of more affordable housing?

 

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    Metro Vancouver Housing provides safe and affordable rental homes to more than 9,000 people on 49 sites across the region. Many of these housing sites were built with the help of previous federal government funding programs.

    The current Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) programming, under the National Housing Strategy, prioritizes low-interest loans over grants for affordable housing. While these loans are important for financing projects, they force housing providers to allocate revenue to repay loans instead of investing in new affordable housing

    Grants would reduce the risk taken on by housing providers and would let them provide more affordable housing at a much faster pace—something desperately needed in the Metro Vancouver region if we are to address housing affordability.

    Without an expedited building of affordable units in Metro Vancouver the prosperity, economy and livability will be severely impacted.