$2 Billion Federal Investment Empowers Innovative BC Builds Program

  21 February 2024

On February 20, 2024, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will be adding another $2 billion in financing to BC Builds.  BC Builds is British Columbia’s plan to build more middle-income rental housing announced earlier this month. During his remark. Trudeau called B.C. Builds “ambitious and fundamentally practical.” He added that this federal contribution will help create 8,000 to 10,000 more homes.

Trudeau called the provincial housing plan, known as B.C. Builds, “ambitious and fundamentally practical” and added that the additional federal financing will help create another 8,000 to 10,000 new homes. Download video transcript [PDF]

“This is exactly the kind of visionary, progressive housing solution that people need. What you’re doing here is transformative, and I am hoping that other provinces take careful note of the leadership that you’ve shown  and the capacity to actually deliver.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Announcement Highlights

🏠 BC was the canary in the coal mine for Canada’s housing affordability crisis.
🛠️ The B.C. government is focused on finding thoughtful solutions urgently.
🏘️ B.C. announced a housing program to turn underused land into affordable rental housing for the middle class.
🏗️ Construction timelines will be sped up to address the urgent housing crisis.
💰 Both the federal and B.C. governments are providing funding for new homes.
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 The program includes larger units for families.
🌍 Other provinces should take note of BC’s leadership and capacity to deliver housing solutions.

B.C. Reaction

British Columbia. Premier David Eby said the added federal funding will be “transformational for the province. The federal investment in addition to an earlier $2 billion in low-cost provincial financing to fast-track affordable rental developments on government-, community- and non-profit-owned and underused land. The province is also committing $950 million to build rental homes under the program.

“All levels of government need to work together to solve the housing crisis. With the federal government’s contribution and partnership on BC Builds, we can create even more lower-cost, middle-income homes through the program. That’s good news for our economy and for our future, but most importantly it’s good news for British Columbians looking for a decent place to live.”

The Hon. David Eby, Premier of British Columbia

You can read more about the Prime Minister’s announcement—and B.C.’s reaction—on Global News.  We have also included a wrap-up of other media coverage from other news outlets below.

Co-op Funding Included

Artistic rendering of 1210 Seymour Street, Vancouver.
Artistic rendering of 1210 Seymour Street, Vancouver. (ZGF Architects/New Commons Development/Community Land Trust/Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency)

The announcement also included BC Builds’ fourth site, owned by the City of Vancouver, located at 560 Davie St. and 1210 Seymour St.

The site will include:

  • A nine-storey concrete building with 112 new co-operative homes for middle-income households in Vancouver.
  • While the BC Builds program has a requirement that a minimum of 20% of units must rent at 20% below market, the Seymour St. project will better that with at least 30% of units to be rented below market. This additional affordability is possible through cost savings provided by the City, as well as federal financing and provincial grants and financing.
  • The building will be located at the corner of Davie and Seymour streets, the last underdeveloped parcel of land in Yaletown. A premium location in downtown Vancouver, the 112 new co-op homes will be located across from Emery Barnes Park near several bus routes.
  • The mixed-use proposed project will include co-op homes of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, and will be safe, secure and permanently affordable. The building will be designed to “passive house” standards,which have high energy efficiency.
  • Construction is expected to begin in summer 2024.

More Media Coverage

Trudeau announces $2B to support B.C. housing projects
CBC News

Premier says prime minister has taken note of the province’s initiatives to increase stock, affordability

B.C. housing: Justin Trudeau announces funding in Vancouver
CityNews Vancouver
Tuesday’s announcement was made at the latest BC Builds site, which is planned to be a new coop in Yaletown.

PM Justin Trudeau boosts B.C. Builds plan with another $2 billion
Vancouver Sun
The federal government is doubling the financing available for a British Columbia housing plan, which the prime minister called “transformative.” 

Trudeau announces $2 billion in federal financing for BC Builds housing program
Daily Hive
The Government of British Columbia’s newly announced BC Builds program of building more affordable housing for middle-income households is getting the federal nod with financial backing.

Trudeau pledges $2 billion in loans for B.C. housing program
National Post

B.C. Builds is promising to build apartments across the province on provincially owned land, with an accelerated timeline for construction