New housing starts in B.C. to decline despite record spending
B.C. government projections that show housing starts declining fly in the face of Premier David Eby’s promise to build more housing for middle-class families, critics said Wednesday. But the province’s housing minister insists the projections contained in this week’s budget don’t reflect reality and that actual numbers are expected to be higher.
The province’s economic outlook projects 39,033 housing starts in 2023, a 16-per-cent dip from the 46,721 units completed last year. Housing starts are expected to drop even further in 2024 to 37,037.
B.C. Housing will also build fewer affordable homes — 3,000 in each of the next three years, compared to 3,900 last year.
“I think it shows a fundamental disconnect the government seems to have with housing in general (and) how the bulk of housing is actually created in terms of developers and private-sector involvement,” said B.C. Liberal finance critic Peter Milobar.
The budget earmarked $1 billion this year for housing, including $744 million in operating costs and $337 million on capital investments. However, details of the province’s full housing plan, including B.C. Builds, won’t be released until later this spring.
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