Unique Coalition Demands Action on Housing Crisis
SOURCE: Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation
July 29, 2015 13:33 ET
Unique Coalition Demands Action on Housing Crisis
Broad-based Partnership Has Come Together to Make Housing a Federal Election Issue
VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – July 29, 2015) – In a rare show of force, the non-profit, municipal and co-operative housing sectors have joined together with the private sector, seniors advocates, homelessness organizations and Aboriginal housing providers to help make rental housing affordability a federal election issue. Together, members of the newly formed BC Rental Housing Coalition are calling for urgent action on an issue that impacts over a third of British Columbians.
“Instead of focusing on our differences, we all recognize that the core issues facing our province are the same and that we need candidates seeking election in BC to prioritize them,” said Tony Roy, Executive Director of BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Twenty years of inaction federally and population growth provincially has led to a huge supply issue here. If we don’t act now, things are going to get worse before they get better,” he concluded.
David Hutniak, Chief Executive Officer of LandlordBC agrees. “We need the federal government to step up and provide meaningful tax incentives for the building of new purpose-built rental housing and for the renovation and enhancement of aging, existing rental stock to offset high land costs and construction costs,” he said. “We all believe that by focusing on building housing and ensuring tenants have the supports they need, we can make a huge difference.”
Members of the Coalition are also urging politicians to consider the impact housing has on a wide range of public policy areas. Economic development, transportation planning, health care, immigration, aboriginal affairs and other areas of social policy are all intimately linked to housing. Proper planning would help prevent spiraling costs and ensure we build healthy, sustainable communities.
Over the next few months, members of the coalition will engage and educate candidates from all parties on issues of housing affordability in their ridings. “There’s incredible public momentum on this issue and in a tight campaign we expect housing to be back on the national agenda,” added Roy.
The BC Rental Housing Coalition is comprised of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, BC Non-Profit Housing Association, BC Seniors Living Association, Co-op Housing Federation of BC, Inclusion BC, LandlordBC, Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation, Urban Development Institute, and Vancity credit union.
In 1993 the federal government stopped funding new social housing commitments, ending three decades of strong financial support for low-income tenants.
Federal tax incentive programs to stimulate the private rental market ended in 1984.
Without federal supply programs low-income tenants are at risk of homelessness, which costs Canadians $7 billion per year.(1)
BC’s rental housing industry contributed $12.25 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2013.(2)
About Aboriginal Housing Management Association:
AHMA is committed to the self-determination, management and delivery of affordable, quality housing to urban and rural Aboriginal people throughout BC. Under the B.C. Aboriginal Social Housing Management agreement, administration of all Aboriginal social housing, programs, and services operated by over 40 Aboriginal Housing Providers across the province (4,200 units) has been transferred from BC Housing to AHMA. This Aboriginal self-management model for social housing is the first of its kind in Canada.
About BC Non-Profit Housing Association:
BCNPHA is the industry association for the social housing sector in British Columbia. It represents, educates and provides service to more than 700 non-profit housing providers that operate more than 60,000 units of long and short-term affordable housing across the province. www.bcnpha.ca
About BC Seniors Living Association:
The British Columbia Seniors Living Association (BCSLA) is a voluntary, membership-driven organization representing the owners and operators of Independent and Assisted Living retirement communities that house over 14,000 seniors in the province of BC.
LandlordBC is the industry association representing owners and managers of rental housing in British Columbia. LandlordBC promotes and conserves the interests and rights of those engaged in the rental housing industry, fosters public understanding of the industry and, promotes the professional operation of the rental housing industry through education and support.
About Co-op Housing Federation of BC:
CHF BC is the voice of housing co-operatives in British Columbia, representing more than 260 housing co-ops and almost 15,000 co-op homes in member-controlled, mixed-income communities across the province.
About Inclusion BC:
Inclusion BC is a provincial federation dedicated to promoting the participation of people with developmental disabilities and their families in all aspects of community life. Inclusion BC provides support, education and advocacy where and when it’s needed, breaking down barriers and building communities that include people of all abilities.
About Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation:
Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation is a non-profit rental housing provider that owns and operates 49 housing complexes with 3400 units of mixed income rental housing in 11 local municipalities. It provides affordable housing for families and individuals including specialized housing for seniors and those with disabilities.”
About Urban Development Institute:
The Urban Development Institute is the premier industry body representing over 650 of British Columbia’s leading residential, commercial, industrial and institutional developers and their related professions. The real estate development industry in B.C. generates a total GDP contribution of approximately $17 billion and supports over 220,000 jobs for the Province each year.
About Vancity credit union:
As Canada’s largest community credit union, with over $18.6 billion in assets, and half a million members, Vancity invests in affordable housing and social purpose real estate that creates positive impact, drives economic self-reliance and supports the well-being of our communities. In 2014 Vancity financed 737 units of affordable housing.
(1) Souce: Homeless Hub, State of Homelessness Report 2014
(2) Source: KPMG Economic Impact Assessment Study — British Columbia’s Rental Housing Sector — November, 2014
BC Non-Profit Housing Association
604.291.2600 (Ext.232) office
See the full press release here