CBT joins Victoria and Ottawa to offer an Affordable Rental Housing initiative

As a result of federal and provincial investments, a new program, the Affordable Rental Housing initiative (ARHi), will soon be available in the Columbia Basin region for households in need. Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has also partnered with the province in this initiative to deliver essential affordable rental housing, says a statement from the CBT released Wednesday.

Through the Canada-British Columbia Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, the federal and provincial governments are providing $5 million over three years to support new affordable rental housing projects in communities across the Columbia Basin. Through a separate funding agreement with the province, CBT is contributing a further $5 million to this initiative.

“Our government is committed to developing and implementing local solutions to local housing challenges,” James Moore, Minister Responsible for British Columbia, said in the statement. “Through this new program, seniors and families of Columbia Basin will have access to affordable rental housing that meets their needs.”

“Our partnership with the provincial government represents a unique opportunity for CBT to help address a priority issue for a number of Basin communities,” CBT Chairman Garry Merkel, said in the statement. “We’re excited this partnership can help communities make affordable rental housing projects a reality.”

The Canada-British Columbia Agreement for Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014, confirms the remaining three years of BC’s five-year allocation of a 2008 federal commitment to spend $1.9 billion to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless. This means a further $90 million in federal funding for the households of some 71,000 low-income British Columbians. The province is matching that $90 million to support affordable housing programs for BC residents.

The federal government, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of almost 615,000 households living in existing social housing across Canada. In BC, this represents some 71,000 households. These investments are intended to improve the lives of low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.

Details on how to apply for the Affordable Rental Housing initiative and request for proposals for the procurement of potential affordable rental housing projects will be available in Spring 2012.

To find out more about how the government of Canada and Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s housing-oriented programns, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or go online to www.cmhc.ca

Over the last decade, the province has invested $2.8 billion in affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To learn more about them, go online to www.bchousing.org

Affordable housing is one of the CBT’s strategic priorities. CBT has helped communities plan affordable housing projects, provided capital grants to projects and shares information on affordable housing issues. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, call 1-800-505-8998 or go online to www.cbt.org