BC Creates $500 Million Fund to Help Nonprofits Buy Rental Buildings and Protect Tenants

The British Columbia government on Thursday released a $500 million fund to help the nonprofit housing sector buy buildings for rent and save them from “housing speculators and profiteers” whose capsizes often lead to tenant evictions. announced.

Prime Minister David Eby said the Rental Protection Fund will maintain affordable rental properties for tenants facing rent increases or evictions when buying, redeveloping or selling buildings.

“For too long, this housing crisis has served the interests of speculators and investors, not those looking for a place to live,” Eby said at a news conference. “Increasingly, across Canada and B.C.Large international companies are buying rental buildings and speculating to generate investment income in homes where people expect affordable rents. ”

The fund provides one-time grants to non-profit housing organizations to purchase rental housing buildings and housing cooperatives listed for sale to protect renters and save them for the future. He said it helps keep the units affordable.

The prime minister also said he would help non-profit buyers raise private financing and that the income generated by current rentals would cover the building’s loan and operating costs.

The fund is administered by the Association of Housing Protection Funds, an external agency comprised of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Cooperative Housing Federation. B.C.and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.

Eby did not provide an estimate of how the fund could help thousands of potential buildings or renters, but it is expected to protect thousands of affordable housing units. .

The NDP government’s Department of Housing cited 2021 census data reporting 669,450 rental households. B.C.About one-third of all households in the prefecture.

Eby said the government is also considering legislation that would give nonprofits first veto power in potential real estate deals, including affordable rental properties.

But he said the bill is unlikely to be introduced in parliament next spring.

“Too often, this predatory model can lead to evictions and rent increases, leading to homelessness,” said Eby. “There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to see a ‘for sale’ sign on the front lawn of the building you live in.”

representative B.C..’s non-profit housing division has praised the government’s funding for affordable rentals for many who are likely to face eviction or much higher rents if the building is sold to speculators. He said he would keep the property.

“I know that if I add 10 new homes and lose 20, I am losing 10 homes. B.C.. chief executive officer. “It’s the hole we dug ourselves and this announcement is the shovel that allows us to start digging again.”

He said the fund will help housing nonprofits make affordable rental properties available to tenants instead of losing out to more expensive units.

“The idea behind this initiative is breathtakingly simple,” said Armstrong. “If you want to protect your scarce and valuable assets, keep them in a safe place. The safest place is the apartment complex department.”

of B.C.The Real Estate Association could not be reached for comment.

Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Nonprofit Housing Association, said the fund is addressing declining affordability in the state’s private rental market.

From 2016 to 2021, B.C.She said she lost 97,390 rental properties with rent under $1,000 a month.

“This is happening across our country,” Atkey said.

Investments to build more housing supply are important, but building more housing is no longer enough to solve the problem B.C.‘s housing crisis is why maintaining affordable rental properties is “very important,” Atkey said.

Statistics Canada data released in September B.C.It leads the country with the highest percentage of affordable housing, mainly because people living in Vancouver pay high rents.

Eby said he expects many property owners with long-term tenants in affordable buildings for sale to seriously consider accepting offers from nonprofits.

“I think a lot of the time sellers will prefer to sell to the non-profit sector,” he said.