BC Builds will deliver affordable rental homes faster

Photo by flckr.com

The Province has launched BC Builds to lower construction costs, speed up timelines, and deliver more homes that middle-income people who live and work in B.C. can afford.

BC Builds is a new initiative that leverages government, community and non-profit owned and underused land with $2 billion in low-cost financing and a commitment of $950 million for the overall program.

Inflation, high interest rates, and the cost of land and construction have driven up costs and rent in B.C. and across the country, and not enough middle-income housing is being built as a result. Too many homes are out of reach for middle-income earners and people are spending more than half of their household income on housing, pushing people out of communities, and making labour shortages worse.

Supported by grant funding and financing from the B.C. government, through BC Housing, BC Builds is designed to deliver through challenging market conditions to bring down building costs, get more projects started, and build more homes that fit into middle-income budgets. The program will focus on rental housing first with rents reflecting local conditions and determined on a community-by-community basis. This means more households will find below-market rent and spend less than 30 percent of their income on rent.

BC Builds works in partnership with non-profits, local governments, First Nations and the development sector to identify available underused land, provide financing and funding, and deliver projects that create more homes and help bring costs more in line with what middle-income households earn.

At least 20 percent of all BC Builds homes will have rents that are at least 20 percent below market rate for projects in partnership with non-profits and First Nations.

The rents for BC Builds will not exceed market rent for that community, and will in many cases be below.

All households living in BC Builds homes are income tested at move-in.

BC Builds projects aim to deliver more two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, as many as possible with below-market rents.

BC Builds uses lower government borrowing rates to offer lower-cost financing and grants to bring down construction costs. The program also works with municipalities, landowners, residential builders and housing operators to move projects from concept to construction within 12 to 18 months, compared to the current of average of three to five years. This will be accomplished by streamlining municipal development processes and by working with landowners, municipalities and residential builders to remove barriers.

To learn more about the BC Builds program, visit: https://bcbuildshomes.ca