City optimistic of Federal funding for housing, transit

March 22, 2016 | Better Transit
Metro Vancouver transit funding

The City of Vancouver is encouraged that today’s federal budget makes significant commitments to short and long-term investments in housing, transit and social infrastructure, and Mayor Robertson and the City are reaffirming their commitment to work closely with both the provincial and federal governments to expedite projects that put this funding to use.

“In Vancouver, we face growing challenges on affordable housing and transit, and today’s federal budget is a good first step towards a new partnership that will see cities and the federal government taking action on some of our most difficult challenges,” said Mayor Robertson. “The commitments by the federal government to increase funding for affordable housing and homelessness programs are urgently needed given the number of residents throughout Metro who struggle to access housing. As well, federal funding for upgrading seniors’ housing, co-ops and maintaining affordability will be a big boost for protecting low-income households.

“The new funding and flexibility dedicated to transit will help us get moving on improving transit in Vancouver and throughout the region, and will both grow our economy while protecting our environment. The changes the federal government has made to transit funding reflect the needs of cities across Canada and is good news for transit riders.”

Benefits of the 2016 federal budget for the City of Vancouver include:

• A commitment of at least $370 million as a down payment for transit in Metro Vancouver;

• A willingness to fund up to 50% of transit projects, instead of just 1/3rd;

• Allowing transit funding to go towards accelerating design and engineering preparations for major projects, like the Broadway Subway;

• Increased funding for the Homelessness Partnership Strategy and Affordable Housing Initiative;

• Commitment to developing a National Housing Strategy;

• Reinstating HUSAR funding to support emergency preparedness.

“We’re ready to work closely and quickly with the provincial and federal governments to get these projects started in Vancouver, added the Mayor. “Housing and transit are top priorities for Vancouver City Hall and it’s encouraging to see these priorities reflected in the federal budget.”