The BC Green Party says the provincial government needs to significantly increase investment in non-market housing such as co-op, non-profit, government-run, and supportive housing,
The Greens are calling on the BC NDP to show proactive leadership after the federal government offered support earlier this week for new non-market housing by committing one-Billion dollars over three years and more than three-hundred million for the ‘Co-operative Housing Development Program.’
Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, the MLA for Cowichan Valley, says the lack of affordable housing is an unprecedented crisis and BC needs the necessary amount of housing to meet the need, not just an increase.
“Rents are sky-high, people are struggling to keep up, and the BC NDP’s approach isn’t cutting it.”
She also says the public needs to know how much affordable housing will be built and when, and the progress of construction should be tracked and reported.
She says adding more market housing may improve supply, but it does not guarantee affordability.
Saanich-North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen says the BC NDP housing plan is fragmented and unclear and it’s hard for legislators, local governments, and the public to fully understand the scope and impact,
According to Olsen, “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.”
He says the bills might mean more housing, but there’s no guarantee it will actually be affordable for people who need it.
To being building non-market housing more quickly, the BC Green Party makes several recommendations:
-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 re-purpose 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.