Canada's most progressive housing strategy continued to mark significant achievements in 2012, providing more than 97,000 British Columbian households with access to safe, affordable or supportive housing.
Since launching Housing Matters BC in 2006, the B.C. government has invested $2.5 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This investment helped create more than 21,000 new units of affordable housing, renovate and upgrade existing housing stock and expand our services to reach more people in need, increasing the number of households we serve by 20 per cent.
This year alone, the B.C. government is providing approximately $404 million to provide a diverse range of social housing programs and services that assist families, seniors, people who are Aboriginal and those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness throughout the Province.
2012 Social Housing Highlights:
- Introduced the Home Adaptations for Independence Program offering low-income seniors and people with disabilities up to $20,000 to finance home modifications for accessible, safe and independent living. www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/01/new-program-promotes-safe-and-independent-living.html
- Work got underway on a project to renovate and restore 13 provincially owned SRO hotels in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. www.housing.gov.bc.ca/info/news/releases/nr_sro.html
- Completion of more than 130 new affordable homes in communities throughout B.C. from modular housing units that once provided accommodation to athletes during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. The last project officially opened in Enderby on July 10, 2012. www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/OLH
- Announced a $10-million investment over three years for new Affordable Rental Housing in the Columbia Basin region with our partners, the Government of Canada and Columbia Basin Trust. www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/03/new-affordable-housing-initiative-for-columbia-basin.html
- Marked the halfway point on the construction of 14 new supportive housing developments in Vancouver for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Seven of the developments are officially open, with another three under construction or nearing completion. www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/MOU/Vancouver
- A $5-million investment with the Government of Canada and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association to create housing for Aboriginal households in need. www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/06/canada-and-bc-help-create-new-aboriginal-housing.html
- More than 1,200 additional emergency shelter spaces in approximately 70 communities to help those in need of temporary shelter during extreme winter weather conditions. www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2012/11/extreme-weather-shelter-spaces-available-throughout-bc.html
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing -
"The Province continues to make real progress, developing new affordable housing for people throughout British Columbia. Over the last year we announced new programs and investments, created 789 new affordable homes since April and pushed forward on projects like Little Mountain in Vancouver that will begin construction in the new year."
"We don't do it alone. We work closely with other levels of government and our non-profit partners. This is a shared accomplishment, and I want to thank all our partners for helping us create housing that makes life better for individuals and families in our province."
Kathy Stinson, executive director, Victoria Cool Aid Society and board chair, BC Non-Profit Housing Association -
"We are only as strong as how we treat the most vulnerable members of our community. I am fortunate to witness every week transformations in people's lives thanks to safe, supportive housing. This would not be possible without the partnerships we have with every level of government, and I thank everyone who supports this vitally important work."
For information on provincial social housing programs and services: www.bchousing.org
To view the provincial housing strategy: www.housingmattersbc.ca
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