Vancouver, British Columbia, July 29, 2021
Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Thanks to investments made by the Government of Canada, British Columbians will now have access to more stable rental housing options.
Today, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), alongside the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced low-cost loans totaling $349 million to help construct three new residential rental projects in British Columbia.
The three projects, developed by Wesgroup, will build a total of approximately 836 new units of much needed -rental housing options close to public transit, schools and services for middle- income families.
The three projects are:
· 100 Braid Street, New Westminster
· 268 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster
· 8690 Jack Uppal Street, Vancouver
The project received funding through CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program that supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families in expensive housing markets.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why our government is taking action to increase the supply of rental housing through projects like the three we are supporting today. This new rental housing will provide families in British Columbia better access to jobs, services and the amenities they need. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
“The past year and a half has reminded Canadians how vital it is to have a home. Hard working middle class families in Vancouver South and New Westminster deserve homes they can flourish in: a place where their children can grow and our neighbourhoods can thrive. This investment will create rental options for more than 800 families across Vancouver South and New Westminster.”— The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Vancouver South
“By providing financing for these three new rental housing projects to provide over 800 new rental units for families, our government is taking action to not only increase the supply of new rental developments here in British Columbia and across Canada, but to also provide housing options that are closer to jobs, services and amenities for middle-class families.”— Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“CMHC’s RCFI program aligns with Wesgroup’s core values, and through our partnership together we have successfully converted three projects that would have otherwise been condominiums into affordable, accessible and sustainable rental homes. These developments provide quality housing accessible to a wide demographic, with great access to transit, amenities, services and jobs. This partnership demonstrates the successful implementation of a targeted government strategy and helps to address the challenges of delivering quality housing in dense urban areas. Moreover, this is a great example of the private sector collaborating with various levels of government in an effort to actively address the lack of housing supply in our province.”— Beau Jarvis, President of Wesgroup
· Through the RCFi, the Government of Canada is encouraging the construction of more than 71,000 new rental housing units.
· A stable supply of rental housing is critical to ensure that more Canadians have access to housing that meet their need and that they can afford. This is a great option for middle class Canadians who are experiencing affordability pressure in many markets with high home prices and lack of rental supply.
· Launched in April 2017, the RCFi has generated significant interest in the industry, which has led to an expansion of the program. Through Budget 2019, the Government of Canada increased the total amount available in loans to $13.75 billion.
· Given the high demand for the program, the Government again expanded the RCFi in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement by adding an additional $12 billion over 7 years, starting in 2021 – 22. The program now totals $25.75 billion in low-cost loans.
· Budget 2021 proposes that $300 million over two years (2021 – 22 and 2022 – 23) from the RCFi be allocated to support the conversion of vacant commercial property into 800 units of market-based rental housing. As the demand for retail and office space has changed due to COVID, some landlords, particularly in major urban cores, are facing higher vacancies. This is an opportunity for property owners and communities to explore converting excess space into rental housing, enhancing the livability and affordability of urban communities.
· Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $72+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
· To help Canadians find affordable housing, Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional
$2.5 billion over seven years in new funding and a reallocation of $1.3 billion in previously announced funding to speed up the construction, repair, and support over 35,000 additional housing units.