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Expanding the supply of affordable housing options in Metro Vancouver

The lack of affordable housing in the Metro Vancouver region – which includes lower-end market housing, rental stock, subsidized housing, and social housing – is a critical and growing concern, with the demand for affordable housing outstripping the supply by a significant margin.

More about the Issue

Homelessness - We can't afford to ignore it Regional Affordable Housing Strategy Metro Vancouver Housing Services

Questions

 

Metro Vancouver estimates that rental housing demand in the region will require 5,500 new units of supply annually over the next ten years, but between 2011 and 2014, only about one-half to two-thirds of the estimated rental housing demand for households earning under $50,000 per year was met with new supply. 


If elected, what specifically will your party do to support an expanded inventory of affordable rental housing options for Metro Vancouver region?


  • Green Party

    BC Greens believe that an opportunity has been missed to address housing affordability in Metro Vancouver. The rapid rise in Metro Vancouver property values created a windfall of Property Transfer Tax revenues from Metro Vancouver. All of this windfall should have been returned to the Metro Vancouver region to address housing affordability. BC Greens commit to this in future.

  • BC Liberals

    Expanding affordable rental housing options is a priority for the BC Liberal government and we have already taken significant steps to address the challenges of a growing population in Metro Vancouver and across the Province. Since 2001, we have invested $6.3 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income British Columbians, vulnerable seniors and families. This includes recent commitments of $920 million to acquire, construct and renovate almost 5,300 rental housing units across the province in the next few years - the largest provincial housing investment in a single year in Canadian history. In Metro Vancouver, approximately 3,400 new housing units are already being developed or are under construction.

    In addition to constructing and renovating new affordable housing units, Today’s BC Liberals also believe that rent supplements give low-income households more options, so British Columbians have more flexibility to choose the neighbourhood they want to live in while helping to keep housing costs within their budget.

    More than 9,400 seniors households in Metro Vancouver receive Shelter Aid for Elderly Residents (SAFER) benefits. With enhanced SAFER benefits, the average monthly payment is expected to rise from $150 to $175.

    We also created the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) to provide low-income working families with cash assistance to help with their monthly rent payments. More than 5,700 low-income working families in Metro Vancouver receive rent assistance to keep the cost of private market rental housing affordable.

    In total, the BC Liberal government assists approximately 60,500 low income individuals, seniors and families each year in Metro Vancouver, and we look forward to the continued opportunity to address affordable rental housing challenges with our local and federal government partners to ensure affordable rental housing options continue to be expanded in the Metro Vancouver region.

  • NDP

    Instead of investing in rental housing, Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have made it harder for renters to protect their rights and sided with unscrupulous landlords – letting them dodge controls on rents, either through fixed-term leases or through renovictions. They accepted more than $10 million in donations from wealthy developers and turned a blind eye to would-be homeowners, calling concerned families “people who get up and whine every day.”

    Their choices have impacted renters and new home buyers and hurt our province’s ability to attract and retain skilled workers. Fixing the housing crisis is important for affordability and our economy.

    For John Horgan's BC NDP, a better BC means decent housing is available and affordable. It means renters are secure where they live and young families can afford their first home.

    John Horgan and the BC NDP will build 114,000 affordable rental, nonprofit, co-op and owner purchase housing units through partnerships over ten years. These homes will be a mix of housing for students, singles, seniors, and families and will range from supported social housing to quality, market rental housing. We will work with all levels of government to grow the number of rental units, protect existing units and strengthen protections for renters province-wide.


Metro Vancouver and its members municipalities have been working together to alleviate a significant increase in homelessness in the Metro Vancouver region, and are willing to work with the provincial and federal governments to build upon the significant financial and in-kind investments that they have made to reduce homelessness in the region. Metro Vancouver has also struck a Regional Homelessness Task Force that has made several recommendations included in a Position Paper.


If elected, what specifically will your party do to support the recommendations included in the Regional Homelessness Task Force Position Paper?


  • Green Party

    Metro Vancouver is to be commended for producing this excellent report documenting the homelessness problem in Metro Vancouver. BC Greens have many proposals for addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness. These will be announced in our platform when it is released.

  • BC Liberals

    Together with our partners, Today’s BC Liberal government invested more than $375 million in Metro Vancouver last year to provide affordable housing and rent supplements, helping more than 61,000 individuals and families. This includes over $138 million for emergency shelters and housing for those who are homeless. Throughout the region we have hard-working outreach teams connecting those who are homeless with housing and assistance to help them stabilize their lives, including access to mental health and addiction services. To support this endeavor, funding for supportive housing, rent supplements and outreach services has more than doubled since 2011, totaling $89 million annually. In the past year, we have committed $136 million in additional funding to construct and renovate 1,800 units of affordable rental housing in Metro Vancouver, and we will continue to partner with local governments and our federal counterparts to build on these achievements.

    Addressing homelessness is a complex challenge – but we are making great strides with our partners to help people in our communities who need it the most.

  • NDP

    After 16 years of neglect from Christy Clark and the BC Liberals homelessness in Metro Vancouver has become a crisis. This crisis requires immediate action.

    We will partner with the federal government, local municipalities, agencies and community groups to create an immediate homelessness action plan, which includes a provincial poverty reduction plan.

    Because we understand that homelessness is tied to family breakdowns, mental health and addiction, chronic health problems, unemployment, and other issues, we will connect our homelessness action plan to initiatives in other areas such as mental health, social assistance, justice, safety, and health.

    We agree with the Regional Homelessness Task force that homelessness is also a growing issue in suburban and rural areas of Metro Vancouver, which is why will also conduct a province-wide homeless count and commit to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services as part of our action plan on housing.

    In addition to our housing commitments, our poverty reduction strategy and other initiatives such as enhanced supports for children out of care are part of a larger, systemic approach to reducing homelessness in BC.