The federal government has budgeted $11.2 billion toward affordable housing in Canada, but it remains to be seen what B.C.’s cut will be.
B.C. Housing had previously said it hoped to receive about $233 million, while provincial Finance Minister Mike De Jong said Wednesday he still expects B.C. to receive its fair share — and perhaps more.
“We expect our fair share and we will work hard to secure more than our fair share,” said De Jong.
On Wednesday, the federal government announced that $11.2 billion would be budgeted nation-wide over the next decade as part of the second wave of its infrastructure program.
De Jong said he was pleased to see the federal government’s “re-engagement” on the housing issue.
“I think what the federal government will expect and hear from us (about taking) into account some of the unique pressures that exist here in the Metro Vancouver housing market,” he said.
“We’ll re-emphasize the steps that we have taken at the province, the re-investments that we’ve made, so I’m not going to try and jam anyone on the day the budget is presented in Ottawa. But you can rest assured that Premier (Christy) Clark and the government will be very active in advocating for a healthy share of that allocation coming to B.C.”
Ottawa also promised a new national database of all housing properties across Canada, known as the Housing Statistics Framework, which will track details on purchases, sales, demographics, financing, and foreign ownership. That database will be taken on by Statistics Canada, bolstered by $39.9 million from the federal government’s housing budget announced Wednesday.
There had previously been very little official data recorded on the rates and effects of foreign ownership, which has often been cited as a factor in B.C.’s red-hot housing market, and was targeted by the provincial government’s foreign buyers tax established last year.
Around $5 billion of the housing budget will go toward encouraging housing providers to pool resources with private partners to pay for new projects.
However, the funding still falls short of the $12.6 billion the mayors of Canada’s biggest cities requested last year. Wednesday’s federal budget also shows that the majority of the $11.2 billion isn’t slated to be spent until after 2022.
Source: Stephanie IP