The BC Non-Profit Housing Association wants to know which potential councillors will be committing to affordable housing.
“One of the things that’s really on our radar right now, and we’re doing active planning for is the municipal elections coming up,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Non-profit Housing Association
“We’re building out a really strong campaign, we’ll be connecting with absolutely every person running for council in British Columbia, and getting them to sign a pledge to make a five-part pledge to make commitments around ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing.”
She added there are over 160 communities in which they will be reaching out to candidates.
Municipal elections in BC will take place on October 15th.
Atkey said they’ll be contacting candidates throughout the summer, right up until the final moment, and releasing who has and hasn’t signed a commitment.
The BC Non-Profit Association held a Regional Education, Networking, and Tradeshow (RENT) event for housing providers in Prince George this morning.
“This is happening in the North, so we’re bringing housing providers in from really all across the North, to just get together, network, talk about common challenges, common successes, sharing and learning from one-another, but then also there’s a training and education component,” Atkey explained.
She added the number one challenge she’s heard is getting enough housing built.
“We saw through the pandemic the affordability situation for renters actually became much worse, which I think is something we didn’t anticipate,” Atkey said.
“We had the largest global economic downturn in many of our lifetimes, and yet affordable housing became more out of reach for people.”
“It’s moving it through the municipal approvals process, it’s getting funding for it from senior levels of government, rising construction costs, rising labour costs, so labour shortages, right throughout BC.”
Atkey added the situation is more acute in the North.
“Now we’ve got a rising interest rate environment, which is posing challenges for projects that already have been approved to go through and get built,” she said.
“And then we’re dealing challenges like with an ongoing pandemic, an ongoing drug poisoning crisis, which is more severe here in Prince George than pretty much anywhere else in the Province. We’re heading into wildfire season, we’re dealing with floods every year in certain parts of the province.”