City getting $30,000 for housing needs report
Sixty local governments will benefit from nearly $1.5 million in provincial grants for developing housing needs reports to plan for long-term housing needs and support strong local economies, including the City of Cranbrook.
The first intake of the housing needs reports funding program approved 30 applications, involving 50 municipalities and 10 regional districts in all parts of the province.
“I am excited to see so many strong applications from municipalities and regional districts that are eager to identify and meet their housing needs, so people can live, work and continue to build prosperous lives in their communities,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Collectively, we need to work together to build the right kinds of homes for people across the province. These reports will give us the kind of community-specific information we need to make sure we meet people’s housing needs.”
New legislation will ensure local governments collect data, analyze trends and develop a report every five years on current and anticipated housing needs. To support this work, the province is providing $5 million over the next three years through a program administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).
“UBCM is pleased to be working with the Province to deliver this funding program to our members,” said Arjun Singh, president, UBCM. “Effective housing policy needs a high level of collaboration and co-operation between orders of government. This new provincial funding will improve data collection and consistency across communities and support evidence-based policy, as called for in UBCM’s housing report.”
Successful applicants outlined their plans for a comprehensive approach to understanding local housing needs, including engagement with the public, First Nations, vulnerable populations and a wide range of local stakeholders.
The reports will assess key housing needs, including the need for affordable housing, rental housing and homes for seniors, people with special needs, families and people at risk of homelessness. They will also help inform decisions to develop workforce housing to help employers retain employees and support local economic growth. The province has made most of the data required by local governments, such as demographics and household income levels, available online at no cost.
Once complete, each report will be presented to a local government council or board. The reports will also be publicly available online to anyone seeking to better understand local housing needs.
The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29.
The City of Cranbrook is the lone East Kootenay community to receive funds ($30,000), while nearby Golden is getting $15,000.