BC rentals: Province launches incentive for secondary suites

BC has launched its previously announced secondary suite incentive program, where eligible homeowners can receive thousands of dollars in forgivable loans to build a rental unit.

This initiative was first announced as part of the 2023 budget and details were released last fall. Applications were officially opened through BC Housing on Thursday.

The program will provide 3,000 homeowners with forgivable loans of up to $40,000 to help cover the costs of creating rental suites. However, to have the loan forgiven, the owners must rent the suite at a below-market rate for at least five years. According to BC Housing, that rate is $1,640 for a one-bedroom in Vancouver and $2,100 for a two-bedroom in the city.

Based on the 2024 valuation, the house may not be worth more than €2.15 million and the household may not have a joint income of more than €209,420.

“There is an urgent need for more homes that British Columbians can actually afford, and many homeowners want to be part of the solution to the housing crisis,” Prime Minister David Eby said in a statement. “This new incentive program makes it possible for homeowners to add a rental suite to their home, creating thousands of affordable rental homes. This is a win for homeowners, a win for renters and a win for communities across our county.”

This is a development story. Check back for updates.

With files from Lisa Steacy of CTV News Vancouver