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BC: $500M for non-profits to acquire older, cheaper rentals
Should be cheaper than making brand-new rentals affordable.
Another housing announcement this month from BC: the provincial government is establishing a $500 million fund, expected to be up and running in April, for non-profits to acquire and operate older, cheaper rentals which would otherwise be sold to institutional investors, so that they don’t get replaced with newer, more expensive rentals or condos.
This should be more cost-effective than building brand-new rentals and making them affordable. Jill Atkey and Thom Armstrong have been talking about this since back in 2020:
Jill Atkey, CEO of the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association, has been following the sales of older apartment buildings listed in Goodman Commercial’s regular reports and watching the sales prices climb higher. It “has not been good for my mental health.”
Atkey’s association has run the numbers on some of the sale prices compared with current rents, and concluded the only way they could be worthwhile investments is with substantial rent hikes.
Thom Armstrong, CEO of the Co-operative Housing Federation of B.C., and others in community housing took note of big institutional investors snapping up old rental buildings at an increasing pace. …
B.C.’s Non-Profit Housing Association and Co-Op Federation have a proposal for what they call “a made-in-B.C. solution” to the problem.
In recent weeks, the groups have begun talks with the provincial government to outline a proposal for a $500 million capital fund from the province. The idea is to enable non-profits to buy apartment buildings when they come up for sale and preserve them as affordable non-profit homes, before institutional investors can acquire them as profit-generating assets.
Kerry Gold in the Globe and Mail, January 27: B.C. lays first bricks for $500-million rental protection fund
Dan Fumano in the Vancouver Sun, August 2020. Big money bets big on B.C. rental: 'Good news' for investors, 'worst fears' for residents