B.C. housing portal provides data ahead of elections

Housing and homelessness are top issues heading into the October civic election around B.C.

A new housing data tool has been launched to help voters make informed choices next month. This online portal is meant to provide critical, community-specific housing data.

That includes information like how many rental housing units are available in your neighbourhood.

“It essentially uses Statistics Canada data, CMHC data, data on homeless counts and waitlists, to provide a really easily searchable community-specific snapshot of housing and demographic information community by community,” explained Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), of the Make Housing Central portal.

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The portal lets anyone take a close look at the housing needs in their community and see what kind of progress their elected officials have made on them.

The coalition is also asking municipal candidates to make a pledge and commit to addressing crucial affordable housing needs in their communities.

“The decisions that they make today are going to shape their communities for generations to come. These municipal elections, Oct. 15, 2022, are a really incredible opportunity for British Columbians to elect local candidates that commit to specific and actionable change on this issue,” added Atkey.

The Make Housing Central portal was created by a partnership between the BCNPHA, the Co-op Housing Federation of BC, and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.

The organizations note local governments have the ability to “effect real change” in the ongoing crisis by “shaping local land use, reducing delays, and driving zoning decisions” to boost housing starts.

“Our campaign not only provides municipal candidates with clear data on the specific needs in their communities but also a chance for them to send a clear signal to voters by publicly pledging to be part of the solution in taking substantive steps to address these needs,” said Thom Armstrong, CEO of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC.

-With files from Peter Wagner

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