Local governments are receiving a $1-billion boost through one-time funding to address the needs of their growing communities.
Grants will be distributed to municipalities and regional districts using a funding formula that reflects population size and growth.
“Our communities are growing and this puts more pressure on community centres, parks and swimming pools that families rely on. To help, we’re providing the single largest provincial investment in communities in B.C.’s history,” said Premier David Eby. “The new Growing Communities Fund will help local communities get building. Growing communities need our support and this funding will make a big difference for everyone.”
On Feb. 10, 2023, government announced the Growing Communities Fund, which provides a one-time total of $1 billion in grants to all 188 B.C. municipalities and regional districts.
Grants will be distributed using a formula that incorporates an initial $500,000 per municipality or district, and further adjustments for population size and per-capita population growth between 2016 and 2021, based on BC Stats data. This method considers the impacts of service and amenity demands on smaller and rural communities and the additional pressures experienced by faster-growing communities. Grants will be distributed to local governments by the end of March 2023.
“I know that our local governments are working hard to keep up with the growing demands of their communities. Through cross-government co-operation, we can address the unique needs in each community to ensure they can thrive into the future,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “These grants will support projects that each community needs the most, like new affordable housing and child care facilities, road improvements or recreation centres.”
All local governments are required to report on the use of funds in their annual audited financial statements. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs will provide further guidance to municipalities and regional districts on the use of their funds in the coming weeks.
“The transfer of these funds provides massive investments for every local government in the province,” said Jen Ford, president, Union of B.C. Municipalities. “This new funding will allow communities to accelerate the replacement of aging systems, and expansion to current services to better meet the demands of growing populations. The approach of providing funding upfront will ensure that these funds are directed to the most urgent priorities identified in each community.”
For a breakdown of funding by local government, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_GrowingCommunitiesFund.pdf
For information about the Growing Communities Fund, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28220
For information about the provincial surplus, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/27862
For a detailed calculation method for the Growing Communities Fund, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/detailed-calculation-method-for-the-growing-communities-fund