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BC and federal government announce $180 million for affordable housing

The B.C. and federal governments have announced plans to invest $180 million in affordable housing throughout the province.

Heralded this morning at the opening ceremony of the Sorella housing project in downtown Vancouver, the partnership will see Ottawa and Victoria contribute $90 million each towards new housing developments over the next three years.

Though the funds have not yet been earmarked for specific projects, according to a spokesperson from BC Housing, developments funded under the plan "will be modest in terms of size and amenities and will remain affordable for ten years or a mutually agreed upon period of time."

The funding arrangement reached between the federal government and the province is based on the Investment in Affordable Housing 2011-2014 Framework Agreement, a document released on July 4 of this month by the federal government that provides a template for joint federal-provincial investment arrangements across Canada.

Based on the framework, the province will be responsible for the design and delivery of affordable housing projects and services funded under the scheme. Additional oversight over how the funds are spent from one year to the next will be provided by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The federal component of the new funding will draw upon the $1.9 billion committed in 2008 by the Harper government to housing and homelessness issues.

British Columbia is the fourth province in Canada to announce such an arrangement since the publication of the framework agreement, joining Alberta, Manitoba, and P.E.I.

Ben Christopher is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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