02/12/2016 03:38 EST | Updated 02/17/2016 10:59 EST

B.C. Affordable Housing Investment Is Single Largest In Provincial History

Around 2,000 units will be created with the money.


VANCOUVER — British Columbia has committed $355 million toward creating as many as 2,000 affordable housing units across the province.

Premier Christy Clark and Housing Minister Rich Coleman made the announcement in Vancouver on Friday.

Clark said the funding will be spent over the next five years and is the largest single affordable housing investment in B.C.'s history.

The province said it has earmarked $50 million of the investment for each of the first two years, $75 million in the third year and $90 million in the final two years.

Details are still being worked out, and B.C. Housing said it will seek proposals from municipalities, non-profit societies and other community groups interested in creating appropriate developments.

Lack of affordable housing has been a hot topic especially in Metro Vancouver, where the price of a home is beyond the reach of many high income earners.

A former Vancouver jail was converted into nearly 100 affordable housing units in 2015. (Photo: BC Housing)

Clark did not say how many of the 2,000 units would be available in the Vancouver area, adding affordable housing is also an issue in other communities.

She suggested the federal government may contribute some cash if it works with provinces in the future to provide affordable housing.

"If we have a chance to have that (fund) matched or met by the federal government we want it to be as big as it possibly can be,'' Clark said.

She said 10,000 people from elsewhere in the country have moved to B.C. in the last six months, creating an even bigger housing crunch.

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