The Province of B.C. and the Columbia Basin Trust will each provide $14 million to create new affordable rental housing in the Basin over the next three years.
The province announced the partnership in a press release issued Thursday morning.
“This new partnership will create a variety of new affordable housing options that address community priorities around the region, such as rental units for seniors, at-risk youth and service workers,” read the release.
Aimee Ambrosone, director of delivery of benefits at CBT, explained that the Trust will be issuing an expression of interest to communities in the next month or so.
“That will be basically calling for project proposals. So it would be an opportunity for community organizations to identify the projects to address affordable housing in their local location and be able to put that project forward as an applicant for funding,” she said.
The Trust and BC Housing will then review the submissions.
Eligible project proponents include municipal governments, First Nations, non-profit housing societies, housing co-ops registered under the Society’s Act and private sector entities.
The goal is to create 225 affordable rental housing units throughout the region.
“It could be possible that a project comes forward where there’s an affordable rental component and there’s a market component, and we would be looking at providing a grant to the affordable component, or it could be a project that’s just affordable rental,” said Ambrosone. “Either one is possible. It all depends on how communities structure it.”
It will also be up to communities to determine their own need for affordable housing.
“Affordability needs vary community by community. In one community it might be seniors who need an affordable rental housing project — if there isn’t enough capacity for that demographic existing within the community. In another community it might be housing for families with children, where they need affordable rental housing,” said Ambrosone. “So the expression of interest will be broad enough that all those projects will be eligible.”
She added that the Trust will be looking to see that communities demonstrate the need for the type of housing they are proposing.
More information regarding the expression of interest will be posted at ourtrust.org/housing.