Housing Minister Selina Robinson announcing new affordable housing units on Salt Spring Island. (B.C. Government photo)

More than half of B.C. government housing projects have seen delays

BC Liberals criticize NDP for slow start to affordable housing promise

Almost two thirds of the housing units being built by the B.C. government at present are behind schedule, but the housing minister doesn’t appear too concerned.

According to a report from BC Housing, about 13,000 of the 114,000 units promised by the BC NDP during the 2017 election were reported to be underway, in various stages of development, as of June 30.

But roughly 37 per cent of those units have been delayed by more than six months, while 22 per cent are running behind because of scheduling adjustments, according to a first quarter update in the Affordable Housing Investment Plan Report. The remaining units are either on track or ahead of schedule.

ALSO READ: B.C. on track for housing plan, minister tells local governments

The units include affordable rental housing, co-op housing, low-income housing, Indigenous housing and transition housing for women fleeing violence.

Roughly 2,200 units were complete by the end of June. Two thirds of those, or 1,400, are to house homeless people following the decampment of tent cities in the Lower Mainland.

Only 71 of the completed units are affordable rental housing.

The BC Liberals took the government to task over the shortfall during Question Period on Thursday.

“It’s becoming abundantly clear to British Columbians that the housing minister is failing miserably to deliver on the 114,000 new units of housing commitment that has been made by her premier,” said housing critic Todd Stone, the MLA for Kamloops–South Thompson.

“No money. Lots of photo-ops, lots of announcements, lots of flourishing rhetoric, but over half these projects have no funding attached to them.”

North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornwaite criticized the slow pace of Robinson’s ministry to open the units.

“At this rate, it’s going to take 100 years for you to fulfill your campaign promises,” she said.

Housing Minister Selina Robinson argued her ministry is in fact delivering, with a more up-to-date tally of 22,000 units underway as of Aug. 30 and that she’s proud of the work by her team.

“[The Liberals] wouldn’t understand that it takes several months — in fact, a couple of years — to actually get them completed,” she said.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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