Mayor Corrigan's statements on affordable housing misleading
Re: Burnaby pitches in for accessible housing (NewsLeader, March 8)
I would first like to clarify that contrary to Mayor Derek Corrigan’s statement, “The only two parties that weren’t contributing, if you noticed, were the federal and provincial governments who weren’t in there at all.”
The government of B.C. was never approached or asked to be a partner in this housing project at 4555 Hastings St.
Further, while the mayor indicates the province has offered no money for affordable housing, the facts speak otherwise:
• 358 new units of affordable housing have been created in Burnaby by the province since 2001. In the last two years we have opened two assisted living developments for seniors and people with disabilities, invested in renovations to family housing at Hillside Gardens and housing for elder women at risk of homelessness.
• $14 million was invested by the province last year to deliver affordable housing for Burnaby residents; and
• 6,502 Burnaby households benefit from provincially-funded affordable housing services. This includes more than 3,700 seniors households, close to 2,400 families and 290 units dedicated to people with disabilities.
We would of course welcome project proposals from any local government.
The province works closely with municipalities and non-profit organizations to help increase the availability of affordable housing. Partnerships are vital—creating affordable housing does not rest with any group.
It is a shared responsibility between all levels of government and the community itself.
Over the last decade the B.C. government has invested more than $3.2 billion in affordable housing and created close to 21,000 new units.
We have developed successful partnerships with many municipalities and have offered to partner with the City of Burnaby on both permanent shelters and supportive housing.
But the city offered no contributions so the projects were never realized.
The article notes the City of Burnaby rejected a request for capital costs for the Hastings Street development.
In fact, much of their “grant” is for development fees and servicing costs that will go right back to the city.
It seems the congratulations for this project belong with the developer and the Vancouver Resource Society who saw a need in the community and took action.
B.C. Minister Responsible for Housing