For immediate release
November 22, 2023
VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the provincial government to significantly ramp up investments in non-market housing including co-op, non-profit, government-run, and supportive housing, to address British Columbia’s escalating housing affordability crisis.
“This unprecedented crisis demands the necessary amount of housing, not just an increase,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. ”British Columbians deserve the truth behind the numbers – how much affordable housing by when? This should be tracked and reported.
“Rents are sky-high, people are struggling to keep up, and the BC NDP’s approach isn’t cutting it. We need more affordable homes for people, not more profits for developers. We cannot continue to rely on the market to get us out of this mess. Adding more market housing may improve supply, but it does not guarantee affordability. B.C. needs the right kind of housing supply, including non-market and purpose-built rentals. We are calling on the BC NDP to immediately invest in a comprehensive program to build non-market housing that is actually affordable for low and middle-class households.”
To expedite non-market housing construction, the Province can:
- Leverage donated land, loans, and access to capital.
- Ensure that a portion of new housing stock created by new legislation will be non-market housing.
- Provide incentives and programs to repurpose and convert existing market housing to non-market tenure.
- Lean into the off-site construction of prefabricated homes.
- Allocate a portion of the government revenue generated from the sale and transfer of new units to an affordable housing fund, so the market housing revenues are helping to pay for non-market housing.
“The BC NDP’s housing plan is fragmented and unclear, making it difficult for legislators, local governments, and the public to fully understand the scope and impact of these major changes,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “Government dropped six different housing bills this fall that allowed them to focus on selling ‘good feelings’ and announcements instead of laying out a coherent plan for making housing more affordable. These bills might mean more housing, but there’s no guarantee it will actually be affordable for people who need it.
Yesterday, the federal government signaled their support for new non-market housing by committing $1 billion over three years with an additional $309.3 million for the ‘Co-operative Housing Development Program.’ British Columbia needs to see proactive leadership from the BC NDP with immediate investments for purpose-built affordable rental housing.
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | firstname.lastname@example.org