Building more lower-cost, middle-income homes, faster (

Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Housing

Media Relations
236 478-0251

BC Housing

Media Relations


What people are saying about BC Builds

Linda Buchanan, mayor of City of North Vancouver

“We have experienced significant job growth across the North Shore. But the people who keep our economy moving do not have housing options within their reach, forcing them to commute from far parts of the region. Thanks to this investment, the people who work here can become our neighbours.”

Silas White, mayor of Gibsons –

“The Town of Gibsons is thrilled and honoured to be part of the launch of BC Builds. Affordable housing is the most critical challenge in our community, so we appreciate the provincial government’s support and collaboration to add another 33 units, as well as a child care program, to the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society’s first 40 units of housing at Christenson Village. The 73 units, plus child care, will go a long way to addressing our housing and workforce needs.”

Xtli’li ye’ Lydia Hwitsum, Chief of the Cowichan Tribes –

“Cowichan Tribes has been working hard to develop innovative partnerships to meet the substantial urgent housing needs in our community. One example is our current project to build two beautiful mixed-use buildings – designed to provide 199 apartment suites and ample green space for residents. I am pleased to see the provincial government stepping up with the BC Builds program and partnering with us to get these homes built.”

Jodee Dick, CEO, Khowutzun Development Corporation –

“Khowutzun Development Corporation is proud to be developing this exciting project with Cowichan Tribes and BC Builds, harmonizing the paths of industry, government, and our Nation into one true path of reconciliation is our goal at Khowutzun Development.”

Jill Atkey, CEO, BC Non-Profit Housing Association –

“BC Builds is another historic investment into much-needed workforce housing, with the Province leveraging community-held assets toward a supply solution. What’s more, we’re excited that there is a clearly defined role to for the community housing sector because the long-term affordability achieved by our sector simply can’t be matched.”

Tim Heimpel, lead steward for the Health Sciences Association; respiratory therapist, Lions Gate Hospital –

“I’ve seen the increasing cost of housing first-hand; our small, niche department has lost two amazing respiratory therapists to other provinces in the last six months alone; many other departments have been affected similarly. Having affordable, stable housing close to your workplace not only helps with retention and recruitment; but those living close by are much more likely to pick up last-minute shifts, which eases the burden of staff hospital-wide, thereby creating an overall better work environment.”

Carolyn Whitzman, adjunct professor and housing researcher, University of Ottawa –

“It is great to see the B.C. government scaling up non-market and Indigenous affordable housing on government land. Based on previous successful programs in the 1970s and 1980s, we know these homes will maintain affordability over time.”

Rents, income thresholds under BC Builds
  • At least 20% of all BC Builds homes will have rents that are at least 20% below market rate for projects in partnership with non-profits and First Nations.
  • All BC Builds units have a target of middle-income households spending no more than approximately 30% of their income on rent.
  • All households living in BC Builds homes are income tested at move-in.
  • The income levels vary by community, so homes are within reach for that community’s middle-income households.
  • BC Builds projects aim to deliver more two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, as many as possible with below market rents.
  • Projects owned and operated by non-profit providers mean rents will remain low over time, creating more affordability.
  • As the private sector alone has not been able to build housing within reach for middle income households, BC Builds delivers housing for households at the top end of current BC Housing program income eligibility and beyond, to meet the growing need for more housing for people in these middle-income ranges.
  • BC Builds picks up where existing BC Housing programs leave off. For example, current eligibility for the Community Housing Fund, which is at the top end of BC Housing programs, is for income ranges from $84,780 for studio/one bedroom and $134,140 for two-plus beds.
  • BC Builds is designed to create housing that is affordable for household incomes from $84,780 to $131,950 for a studio or one-bedroom home, or $134,410 to $191,910 for a two-bedroom home or larger. This will vary by community, to reflect local incomes. The upper end of the income range will only be applicable in the highest-income communities for three- and four-bedroom units.
  • Those with lower incomes will be prioritized for below-market units.
  • People who earn less than their community middle-income range annually will be eligible to live in a BC Builds studio or one-bedroom home. However, they may be better served by BC Housing’s affordable rental housing and rental subsidy programs that serve low- and moderate-income households.
  • People with income levels above the local thresholds will be ineligible to live in BC Builds housing.
  • The program will use a formula-based approach to determine the rental rates within communities using an appraisal of purpose-built rental units within the community and the average income range of people currently living in the community.
Leveraging land through partnerships
Updated on Feb. 14, 2024

The Province, through BC Housing, has established partnership opportunities with 20 governments and organizations that are working with BC Builds to build homes for people faster:

  • Church of the Nazarene, City of Langley
  • City of Kamloops
  • City of Kelowna
  • City of Langley
  • City of North Vancouver
  • City of Port Alberni 
  • City of Vancouver
  • District of Squamish
  • Khowutzen Development Corporation (Cowichan Tribes)
  • Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce
  • Resort Municipality of Whistler
  • Sacred Waters (and the respective Nations working closely together: Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo)
  • Southside Community Church, Burnaby 
  • District of Elkford
  • Town of Gibsons
  • Town of Ladysmith
  • Township of Langley 
  • c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tsehaht) Nation
  • University of Victoria
  • University of British Columbia 
Connecting landowners, home builders

The Province, through BC Housing, is working with government, non-profit, and community landowners to identify additional underused properties that can be developed or redeveloped into rental housing through BC Builds.

The Province acknowledges its commitment to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, as well as the obligation to consult and co-operate with First Nations regarding the use and disposition of underutilized provincial land that may be identified as potential BC Builds projects. The Ministry of Housing and BC Housing will continue to ensure this obligation is met.

Step 1 – Connect and support land partners and home builders

Landowners can find a development partner on their own or source one through the BC Builds website. The BC Builds housing development opportunities page will be launched in the coming weeks, with sites already zoned for housing development. Property owners looking for a developer/builder and/or operating partner will be listed for residential homebuilders and housing operators to review and submit a proposal to develop and/or operate rental housing on the site.

BC Builds will facilitate partnership agreements and lease terms between landowners, builders and operators and support the evaluation of proposals.

Step 2 – Streamline the approval process

Once a partnership agreement has been established, BC Builds will work with municipal and provincial approvers to accelerate permitting, building and operation of housing.

The BC Builds team will work with landowners, municipalities and residential developers to remove barriers.

Step 3 – Provide low-interest financing and grants

BC Builds offers low-interest construction financing to reduce the cost of construction of eligible projects.

As needed, BC Builds will provide a maximum grant of $225,000 per unit to non-profits and First Nations development corporations to achieve a minimum of 20% of units with rents 20% below market.

For eligible groups that own land and have an initial concept, but need additional financial support to advance their project, pre-development loans are available.