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Pacific Canada  + Canada  + Multi-residential Housing  | 
Apartments under construction.

Ottawa Supplies $2B to B.C. Rental-Construction Program

The federal government has provided a $2-billion boost to the B.C. government’s rental-housing construction program.

Ottawa’s investment comes after the B.C. government committed to provide $2 billion of its own in low-cost construction loans and invest $950 million through the new BC Builds program.

The federal government will provide its $2 billion through the Apartment Construction Loan program.

“This will be transformational for thousands of families in British Columbia,” B.C. Premier David Eby said during a news conference held to announce the federal contribution.

The BC Builds program aims to construct 8,000 to 10,000 new homes for the middle class. The federal funding, combined with provincial investment, is designed to facilitate the low-cost loans and fast-track construction on government, non-profit, and community-owned land.

According to the Globe and Mail, the BC Builds program unique in Canada. The province will provide the construction financing and some other targeted incentives to enable many different groups – including non-profits, Indigenous governments, private developers and church organizations – to build a new kind of more affordable housing in the middle ground.

Under previous models, the Globe reported, a third of the apartments would be rented at welfare rates, a third would be rented at rates equivalent to 30 per cent of household income for those in lower-wage jobs, and a third at close to market rates. Under the BC Builds framework, any group that contributes its own resources on its own, usually land, can receive up to 100% financing for a project and save millions, according to the Globe.

Developers could also receive $225,000 per unit in capital grants in some cases, the Globe reported.

The BC Build program has funded four projects thus far, most recently a 112-unit co-op project in Vancouver’s Yaletown district.

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About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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