Vanderhoof is one of only five Northern B.C. communities to receive funding for affordable housing projects in a recent wave of spending from the province.
The district will see two new housing projects built, as the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has announced funding for 34 total homes in the city.
The Nechako Valley Community Services Society has been awarded funds for two projects. It will receive $2.8 million to build 28 homes for seniors, and $600,000 to build six homes to house a mix of seniors and families.
Just five communities in B.C.’s northern region received funding, with others including Queen Charlotte, Smithers, Valemount and the Village of Telkwa. Thirty-seven other B.C. communities also received funding.
The new builds are designed to be affordable rental units, in order to address the need for affordable housing across a range of income levels, in response to “a housing crisis that has made housing unaffordable for even middle-class families,” according to a government news release.
Buildings will contain units aimed at a mix of income levels, including homes for middle-income individuals and families, deeply subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers.
The Province, through BC Housing, selected the first set of projects based on a number of criteria, including targeted clients and the impact the project is expected to have in reducing the community’s affordable rental housing need. Projects were selected through a request for proposals, which was issued in April 18 and closed in September 2018. BC Housing says it will work with the societies to finalize the projects over the next few months.
“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are building housing so that growing families, aging seniors and low- to moderate-income individuals can afford homes in the communities they live and work in,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new homes will have life-changing impacts for people and communities right across the province.”
“Years of inaction on the B.C. housing crisis left families struggling to get by and unable to get ahead,” said Premier John Horgan. “These new, affordable rental homes are an important step toward addressing the housing crisis and giving families in every part of the province a break from skyrocketing housing costs.”
Approximately $492 million has been provided by the Province to fund the housing initiative. According to the news release, Budget 2018 launched the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.’s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.