Housing Hub

Earlier today Convention delegates heard about HousingHub, an initiative of BC Housing to increase the supply of affordable housing for middle-income earners. The goal of this recently developed office is to identify and advance innovative approaches to create affordable homes—both for rent and for purchase—in BC communities.

The HousingHub office works with non-profits and private developers, faith groups, property owners, federal and local governments, and Indigenous partners to locate, use, or repurpose, land in communities where affordability is an issue. The office provides a centre for community partners and private industry to collaborate on developing new construction or redeveloping existing sites for affordable housing purposes. 

One of the goals of the office is to leverage low cost financing available to BC Housing to help build new affordable housing that does not require capital funding or ongoing operational funding.

HousingHub’s Affordable Home Ownership Program has been developed to help low to middle income renters move out of rental units into homes available at below market costs. HousingHub is able to offer discounted home ownership opportunities by providing financing support for developers; building local partnerships (including expedited development approval processes with local governments and leveraging land from project partners); and providing a second interest free mortgage on title support to prospective home owners to make first mortgages more accessible and sustainable.

Anticipated benefits of the program include reducing or eliminating loan insurance costs attendant to high ratio mortgages. The program also provides a buffer against interest rate and market fluctuations.

One of the recently announced projects through the HousingHub will deliver affordable rental homes for seniors, adults with disabilities, and families in Saanich.

Working in partnership with the Capital Region Housing Corporation and the Independent Living Housing Society, HousingHub is helping to make five fully accessible ground-floor units available for people who need them, as well as office and gathering space for the society’s programming. The society will select tenants for the five designated accessible units.

The project will also provide 73 affordable rental homes for people in the Capital Regional District. The four-storey building will contain 11 studio apartments, 38 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartments and four three-bedroom apartments.

The Capital Regional District provided the land, and the Capital Region Housing Corporation will operate the building. The site is fully excavated, and the foundation will be poured in the coming weeks. Construction is anticipated to be complete early in 2020.

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