FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2001
VANCOUVER – The Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC) is urging the BC government today to maintain its commitment to building new affordable housing, after learning that projects already given preliminary approval may not proceed.
The Hon. George Abbott, BC’s minister responsible for housing, confirmed on Monday that 1,100 units of social housing are “under review”, advising people to “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” The units had already received preliminary approval from the government to proceed.
“For the first time since 1992, the federal government has indicated that it’s ready to come back to the table with new money for housing,” said CHF BC president, Gary Panagiotidis. “This is not the time for BC to step away from a program that has worked so well for all British Columbians.”
The federal government, which cancelled its housing programs in 1993, recently announced it will contribute $650 million to affordable housing over the next four years. Currently, BC is one of only two provinces (Quebec being the other) still funding the development of new affordable housing. BC’s share of the federal money is estimated to be close to $90 million over four years, but the province must come up with matching funding.
News that the province may put the brakes on new social housing projects comes at the beginning of Affordable Housing Week, proclaimed by Premier Campbell to run October 14 through October 20. CHF BC will host a proclamation ceremony for Co-op Housing Day on October 17 at Roundhouse Housing Co-op in Vancouver.
“Housing co-ops are ready to work with the minister and the Liberal government to find new ways to build and manage affordable housing more efficiently,” says Panagiotidis. “But with 10,000 households on BC Housing waiting lists and very tight vacancy rates in many areas, BC needs more affordable housing, not less.”
CHF BC is a provincial federation of housing co-ops. There are 260 non-profit housing co-ops with over 14,000 co-op homes, in British Columbia.
For more information, contact –
604-879-5111, ext. 139