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The Rental Protection Fund Highlights Its Immediate Demand in First Official Report

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Rental Protection Fund (the "Fund") unveiled its inaugural Impact Report to the Province. This report highlights the immediate demand for the community-led preservation of existing, at-risk rental housing across British Columbia and summarizes the considerable progress made toward this goal to date. The Fund also announces the first 22 pre-qualified non-profit housing applicants, along with the impact of 25 proposed housing acquisitions across B.C. currently under consideration that could ensure housing stability and keep rents attainable for more than 3,000 British Columbians.

In January 2023, following a landmark $500 million initial investment by the Province of British Columbia, the Rental Protection Fund was established as a direct, innovative solution to address B.C.'s housing crisis. The Fund commits equity contributions to non-profit housing organizations to acquire and renew existing, occupied rental buildings to secure housing attainability and stability for tenants over time. Since opening applications in July 2023, the Rental Protection Fund has received more than 70 applications from the community housing sector, spotlighting the overwhelming demand for the Fund's services.

The Rental Protection Fund has a mandate to deploy the $500 million to secure 2,000+ units over three years. To date, just four months since launching applications, the Fund has 1,363 units in its pipeline for consideration, representing critically at-risk, existing rental housing stock across the Province. The Fund aims explicitly to address the middle-income renter gap in B.C.'s rental housing market, where working families and individuals are often ineligible to qualify for subsidized housing yet grapple with escalating rents, ensuring they have a stable and secure housing environment.

"People do deserve a break, and these proposed acquisitions represent more than 3,000 British Columbians who will be able to breathe a sigh of relief that their housing is secure and escape the fear that rents will exceed their reach," shares Katie Maslechko, CEO, Rental Protection Fund. "And with proposed acquisitions coming forward at a pace of 25 units a day - each representing hundreds of dollars of secured affordability at a fraction of the cost of building new - the potential for impact extends far beyond this initial $500M investment. B.C.'s innovation is piquing interest across the country, and the demand is being felt across the Province - these first 1,300 homes are just the beginning."

The strong demand for the Fund is showcased throughout its October 2023 Impact Report. To spotlight the direct impact the Fund would have on future tenants, the Rental Protection Fund analyzed the current market rates of 13,500 unique rental listings in areas with active acquisitions from July - October 2023. These findings highlighted that the average rental rates under consideration by the Fund are less than half the prevailing market rates for similar-sized units (Average $1,097 compared to $2,440). This rent disparity, termed "Secured Affordability," indicates the potential increase in rent tenants might encounter upon displacement, determined by the gap between prevailing market rates and rents preserved by the Fund.

Properties currently under consideration by the fund represent 1,363 homes across the Province that are eligible for preservation through the community housing sector, resulting in their removal from the speculative market and protection from displacement. Within these proposed acquisitions, the following percentage of homes are attainable to various British Columbians, a large portion of whom make up middle-income renters (a community that often doesn't qualify for government subsidies):

To help tenants receive attainable housing now and over time, the Fund has announced the first 22 pre-qualified non-profit housing providers that embody the experience, compassion, and innovation of the Community Housing Sector, with more than 50 additional applications in progress. Collectively, these pre-qualified applicants own and/or operate over 280 buildings with 14,500 units across the Province and will continue to acquire, renew, and operate affordable rental properties through the Fund that were previously at risk of displacement. This initial group of non-profit housing organizations, available on the Fund's website, are actively exploring impactful acquisition opportunities across the Province that meet the Fund's eligibility criteria as illustrated in the following graphic:

The Rental Protection Fund's impact will continue to be felt throughout the Province. Driven by the mission of keeping renters in their homes by stemming the net loss of affordable rental housing and preventing tenant displacement, the Rental Protection Fund aims to continue addressing the erosion of attainability in the private rental market.

To learn more about the Rental Protection Fund's October 2023 Impact Report, visit rentalprotectionfund.ca.
Media Contact
Jennifer Kim
Talk Shop Media
[email protected]

About The Rental Protection Fund:
Endorsed by the provincial government with a groundbreaking $500 million investment, the Rental Protection Fund is B.C.'s direct response to the housing crisis. Spearheaded by CEO Katie Maslechko, the Fund's core mission is to safeguard tenants and ensure attainable rental homes are available for future generations. It empowers non-profit housing organizations and cooperatives with capital contributions, facilitating the acquisition of existing rental buildings. This initiative aims to sustain housing attainability and stability for B.C.'s renters over time.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2ee6ab03-d8f2-4ba5-ad32-8320bf16f483




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