Premier David Eby says the first purchase using the government’s Rental Protection Fund will save 290 affordable rental units in two housing co-ops that have expired leases and were facing the prospect of being sold out from under the residents.
Eby says the government’s fund will contribute $71 million towards the $125 million acquisition in the Metro Vancouver city of Coquitlam by the non-profit Community Land Trust of B.C.
The New Democrat government last year introduced the $500-million Rental Protection Fund to provide one-time grants to non-profit housing organizations to buy rental buildings and co-operatives.
Eby says with the province in a housing crisis, government must get involved in preserving and building affordable homes.
The Ministry of Housing says the 41-year land leases at Coquitlam’s Tri-Branch and Garden City co-ops expired in October 2022 and the future of residents was at risk with lease payments in arrears and mounting debt.
The ministry says the fund has now approved funding to preserve a total of 700 affordable homes across B.C., with the Coquitlam co-ops being the first.
“We cannot afford to lose affordable rental homes like this building,” Eby said at a news conference Thursday.
He said without the funding, 290 units of affordable housing “would have otherwise been lost forever to redevelopment.”
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024.