March 8th, 2021
Victoria, British Columbia — Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why the Government of Canada partnered with the Government of British Columbia to provide additional support to thousands of low-income households across the province.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Honorable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North–Seymour, along with David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, announced a 10-year, $517 million investment in the Canada – British Columbia Housing Benefit (CA-BC HB), that will support more than 25,000 households across B.C.
The new housing benefit will provide financial assistance to marginalized groups with low incomes to help with their monthly rent payments.
As part of the CA-BC HB program, half of the investment is already being used to support enhancements that were made to the provincial Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) in 2018.
The program will be delivered to households that are not eligible for RAP or SAFER, and fall within one or more targeted priority groups, including women and children experiencing or at risk of domestic violence, Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, veterans, youth leaving care, people with disabilities and people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
The benefit will be provided directly to selected qualifying households through non-profit housing providers or by BC Housing, through The Housing Registry.
“Our Government is committed to ensuring that every Canadian has a safe and affordable place to call home and we recognize the long-standing need for predictable funding for housing. Today, we are taking another significant step toward our goal of building strong communities where British Columbians continue to prosper and thrive, now and for generations to come.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
“The federal government is back into affordable housing with our National Housing Strategy. The Canada – British Columbia – Housing Benefit is a key component in developing an ambitious 10 year plan for the housing sector to make real progress for British Columbians. I am committed to working with all levels of government to ensure that our communities have access to safe, affordable, and stable housing.” – The Honorable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra
“With today’s announcement, we’re taking another positive step towards ensuring that all Canadians, especially the most vulnerable members of our community, have a safe, secure, and affordable place to call home. Part of our $70+ billion National Housing Strategy, the Canada Housing Benefit is a critical investment that will help alleviate rental strains for the members of our communities that need it most. Working with the provincial government, we are making meaningful progress when it comes to addressing BC’s most urgent housing challenges.” – Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour
“We are pleased to work with the federal government to make housing more affordable for British Columbians, and we are glad to see the continued leadership of the Federal Minister of Housing on this file. We will continue to work with the federal government to match our housing investments so that even more people in B.C. can have the peace of mind that comes with having a secure and affordable home in their community. Together we could really make some major progress in addressing the housing crisis in our province.” – David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing, Province of BC
“We recognize how real the need is for safe and affordable housing in British Columbia, and how this is a priority for communities and families across the province. That’s why we’ve committed over a quarter of all available funding so far through our National Housing Strategy to the Province of BC. This investment means more families will have access to good homes, so they can give their kids the best possible start in life.” – Randeep Sarai, Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre
- The Government of Canada will invest $2 billion in the Canada Housing Benefit across the country, which will be cost-matched by provinces and territories for a total $4-billion investment over 8 years, starting in spring 2020.
- The benefit will cover some of the difference between 30% of gross household income, or income assistance shelter payment, and rent (subject to a maximum rent).
- The Canada – British Columbia Housing Benefit builds on the Canada-British Columbia Bilateral Agreement, announced in 2018 under the National Housing Strategy. The total cost-matched funding is approximately $1.5 billion to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, and will support the priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability in Homes for BC, the Province’s 30-point plan for housing affordability in British Columbia.
- The National Housing Strategy (NHS) is the Government of Canada’s10-year, $70+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home—this includes more than $13 billion committed through the 2020 Fall Economic Statement.
- Since 2017, the B.C. government has taken steps to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes, including the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C.’s history – $7 billion over 10 years.
- Through a 30-point housing plan launched in 2018, the provincial government is working with partners to deliver 114,000 affordable homes over 10 years. The plan has also introduced new measures aimed at curbing speculative demand that has driven up the cost of living.