B.C. provides $2 billion borrowing program for middle-income family housing projects

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The province is providing an additional $2 billion to finance the construction of thousands of new homes for middle-income families.

The funds will allow HousingHub, a division of BC Housing, to encourage developers and community groups to build new homes by providing loans with low interest rates, according to the province.

“For too long, hard-working middle-income families have been priced out of the housing market and the pandemic pushed prices even higher,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our government is levelling up middle-income housing in the province with a $2 billion borrowing program that will build thousands of safe and secure homes that families can afford for years to come.”

The developers are to commit to passing the construction savings through to the tenants and homeowners through more affordable rents and buying opportunities.

The loans are repaid once construction is complete and allow HousingHub to reinvest in additional housing and continue to increase the number of homes built for middle-income households over the 10-year lifespan of the program, the province said.

“Two billion dollars in a rotating line of credit that builds affordable housing across this province will be transformative. Demand for specific projects from builders already exists for the full first round of funding,” said David Eby, attorney general and minister responsible for housing. “Because this money is repaid once construction is done, it will build thousands of units of affordable housing again, again and again. The only limit at this point is the time needed for municipal approval processes and the speed of construction. Let’s get building.”  

HousingHub was established in 2018 and has since seen over 3,400 home completed or underway throughout the province for households with an average income of $75,000, according to the province.

It primarily supports development of rental homes — rents or the costs of HousingHub homes offered for purchase must be at or below market rate and must remain affordable for a minimum of 10 years.

“It’s nearly impossible to find affordable rent in a central location within Victoria. Through HousingHub, I was able to secure a below-market-rate rental apartment in the Quadra Village neighbourhood, providing an easy daily commute as I work toward my carpentry apprenticeship. Now I can work on building my savings while beginning my career in construction,” said Jacob, a HousingHub tenant.

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