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B.C. opens $500M fund to help non-profits buy rental buildings, keep rent affordable

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has opened access to its $500-million rental-protection fund that will help non-profit groups purchase rental buildings. 

The goal of providing the capital funding is to allow renters to stay in the buildings and keep their rents affordable. 

The province says in a statement that more than 97,000 units where the rent was below $1,000 a month were lost between 2016 and 2021 as they were converted to condominiums, demolished or the price of rent went up. 

The fund’s CEO, Katie Maslechko, says the idea is a sector-led solution to keep homes affordable over the long term, without the need for ongoing operating subsidies. 

The province announced the fund in January and groups wanting to access the money need to go through a three-step qualification process for both their own organization and the property they want to purchase. 

Maslechko says they’re encouraging potential applicants, municipalities, social-enterprise leaders and others to find out how they can help B.C. retain affordable rentals homes, while multiplying the impact of investment. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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