The Government of British Columbia’s new HousingHub will bring local governments, Indigenous partners, the non-profit sector and developers together for innovative partnerships to create homes people throughout British Columbia can afford.
The first partnership starts with more than 400 new homes being built in Coquitlam, Nanaimo, Richmond and Vancouver.
“Building affordable homes for middle-income people is key to tackling the housing crisis, and we have to work together to get it done,” said Premier John Horgan. “That’s why we’ve created the HousingHub — to bring people and organizations together to build the homes people need, quickly.”
The HousingHub, a division of BC Housing, will take an active role in finding partners to build new, affordable market-rental housing and owner-purchased housing, giving renters and prospective new homeowners the benefits of long-term stable and affordable housing.
The hub’s focus will be on developing homes for people with average incomes between $50,000 and $100,000.
“This is part of our commitment to make sure middle-income British Columbians, who have been priced out of housing communities across the province, will have access to homes that people can afford to rent or buy,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We look forward to forging new partnerships, so that we can deliver the safe and secure housing people need.”
The hub will work with private land owners, developers, non-profits, faith-based groups, Indigenous organizations, and federal and local governments, to locate, use or repurpose land in communities where affordability is an issue.
The first of these partnerships has resulted in a proposal from the B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada to build more than 400 new affordable rental homes for individuals, families and seniors at four church-owned properties in Coquitlam, Nanaimo, Richmond and Vancouver.
“The United Church in B.C. has more property than we need,” said Terry Harrison, property resource team lead, B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada. “We must use these valuable assets wisely, in ways that will help congregations develop new and sustainable models of ministry while, at the same time, providing a practical benefit to the wider community. Working families and individuals need affordable, quality, purpose-built rental housing, and our partnership with the HousingHub will help us to leverage select church properties to do just that.”
The project in Coquitlam, at the Como Lake United Church, is expected to break ground in June, and will result in 75 affordable rental homes for families, seniors and individuals in need of affordable housing.
“I learned, through a career in housing, that sustainable long-term solutions to housing affordability are best achieved through partnerships like this one — the kinds of partnerships that HousingHub seeks to foster,” said Richard Stewart, mayor, City of Coquitlam.
Each development will include an affordable rental housing component, the redevelopment of the existing church facilities, offices and other programming space.
- As part of Budget 2018 and government’s new 10-year provincial housing plan, the Province is providing approximately $20 million to establish the new HousingHub.
- To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.’s housing market, and helping to build 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
- Budget 2018 launched the biggest investment in housing affordability in B.C. history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.
For more information about the HousingHub, please visit: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/housinghub
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
A backgrounder follows.