The BC government is continuing its goal of providing more affordable mixed-income rental homes through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund.

Smithers and the Village of Telkwa are included in the over 4,900 new homes across 42 BC communities. Families and seniors will be able to benefit from 15 new homes in Smithers and the Smithers Community Service Association will be funded $1.5 million. As for Telkwa, 12 new homes are coming for seniors with $1.2 million going to the Telkwa Seniors Housing Society.

“These new, affordable rental homes are an important step toward addressing the housing crisis and giving families in every part of the province a break from skyrocketing housing costs,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement.

Individual buildings will hold units aimed at a mix of income levels. This will include homes for middle-income families and individuals, deeply subsidized rentals for seniors and others on fixed incomes, and homes for low-wage workers. In total, 30% will be for middle-incomes, 50% for low-to-moderate incomes, and 20% for low incomes.

“One-third of British Columbians are renters. Almost half of them are spending more than 30% of their income on rent, almost one-in-five are spending more than 50% of their income on rent,” explained BC Non-Profit Housing Society CEO, Jill Atkey.

“Spending more than you can afford on rent is becoming the new normal.”

This round of 4,900 homes is the first set of projects selected through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9 billion investment over ten years. These homes will include both non-profits and co-ops They will be built over the next two to three years.

Projects were selected through a request for proposals, gathered between April 18 and September 18, 2018. BC Housing will work to finalize the projects in the coming months with the societies. Approximately $492 million is being provided by the Province to deliver these homes.