Late last year, the provincial government announced that they would make $500 million dollars available to build 2,900 affordable rental units throughout the province. This is an extension of the provincial government’s “Non-Profit Asset Transfer Program” which started in 2014.
The province is selling land and assets directly owned by BC Housing to non-profit housing societies. The end result of this will be that BC Housing will be a funding and policies agency for housing, but will no longer directly own or operate housing in the province. The province is hoping to get $505 million from the sale of the land and assets. $355 million of the proceeds will go towards building those 2,900 new affordable rental units.
There is a housing continuum as shown in the following graphic from Metro Vancouver’s recent Regional Affordable Housing Strategy.
|The housing continuum. Select graphic to enlarge.|
|Household income categories in Metro Vancouver. Select graphic to enlarge.|
The Gateway of Hope in the City of Langley would fall into the “with support” category. People living in this type of housing are unable to live fully independent. Some of the services provide could be addition recovery programs, support for mental or physical health conditions, and assisted living. BC Housing has a full list of supportive housing options. The province’s $500 million program is focused on providing “no support” non-market rental for people that have a low to moderate income who can live independently.
The provincial government recently announced that it would be providing $4 million to help build an 82-unit non-market rental building in partnership with Catalyst Community Developments Society and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.
The province’s press release states that the rental units will be for seniors and low to moderate income families. The project will be built at the corner of 72nd Avenue and 200th Street on unused church property.
One of the things to consider when building affordable housing is access to services and employment. How easy is it for someone to get around without having to own a car. Metro Vancouver's Regional Affordable Housing Strategy states that “transit-oriented development is viewed as one of the top policy approaches for making land available for affordable housing 'at the right location'; for example, where access to public transit links residents to employment and services. Good locations for affordable housing should include access to transit.”
This new housing project is being built next to 200th Street, and residents will have access to the 501 which currently operates every 30 minutes. The 200th Street corridor is slated to have B-Line service in the next three or four years. The housing project will start construction in 2018.
It is great to see new affordable housing being built in Langley as there is a huge need. I look forward to also seeing more “with support” housing options in Langley.