Affordable housing is a pressing need in British Columbia and Chilliwack. It is different from homeless housing in that it is a preventative measure and also addresses housing for low and middle income earners who need access to rental housing or even home purchase at prices much more accessible.
The bottom line is that we have a lack of affordable housing in BC and that under the NDP we have not seen an improvement in housing affordability at all. The BC NDP has only met 3% of what it promised in the last election in terms of affordable housing and CMHC information indicates that rents in most markets are still out of the reach of many people. Unaffordable housing is a major driver in the homelessness crisis.
Diane Janzen is committed to working with the City of Chilliwack, BC Housing, CMHC and developers to tackle this issue of supply:
- Understanding the supply need and the kinds of housing we will need in Chilliwack for the decades to come;
- Working with municipalities to increase the pace at which developments occur, particularly those outside Chilliwack. Chilliwack has a strong record but other municipalities, can for example, take up to 2 years to approve a coach house.
- Working with developers in the same way that City Council so effectively worked with Algra Brothers and developers in the downtown to bring to fruition those positive developments.
- Working with BC Housing to bring attractive and reasonable rental housing so that Chilliwack residents do not spend more than about 30% of their incomes on housing.
- Being much more successful in leveraging the federal dollars that are available for housing. BC has fared very poorly in accessing these dollars.