144 apartments in four social housing communities across British Columbia will undertake renovations thanks to a new initiative by the governments of Canada and British Columbia as well as community partners. The $800,000 investment was announced following the recent completion of a $3.5 million renovations and retrofits project at Stratford Gardens, a Burnaby development consisting of 127 affordable rental apartments.
Yonah Martin, Senator for BC, said that the government is taking action to help ensure our economic recovery and create conditions for long-term growth through Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Renovation projects like these help the local economy get moving by putting construction workers and tradespeople to work quickly. The renovations also help to keep homes safe and affordable, thereby improving the quality of life for residents of British Columbia.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Public Safety, Solicitor General and Minister Responsible for Housing, said: "Safe, affordable housing is essential to creating a vibrant and healthy community with neighbourhoods we all want to live in. Together with other governments and our non-profit partners the province is continually adding new units of affordable housing and increasing the diversity of housing options available in our province. These are more than just apartments — these projects change the lives of the people who call them home.”
In 2008, the Government of Canada promised to invest more than $1.9 billion over five years to renovate and build new social housing and battle homelessness. $850 million is provided to provinces and territories for the retrofit and to improve the quality of existing social housing units for recent immigrants, Aboriginal households, single-parent families and low-income seniors. The province of British Columbia will invest over $562 million between 2010 and 2011 to provide affordable housing and fight homelessness through the crown agency, Housing Matters BC.