Jill Atkey is the CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA). Jill has 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, and most recently led the development of the Canadian Rental Housing Index and oversaw the development of a 10-year Affordable Housing Plan for BC in order to solve the province’s housing affordability and homelessness crisis. This plan has informed the current provincial government’s $7-billion investment in affordable housing in BC. Jill is also a director at Encasa Financial, the Community Housing Transformation Centre, and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Jill’s perspective on housing supply and affordability:
A quarter million renter households in British Columbia can’t afford their rent and 125,000 of those households spend more than half of their income on rent. That means far too many British Columbians are cutting back in other areas and are increasingly at risk of joining thousands of others without homes, living on the street, in shelters or with friends and family. Single mothers, Indigenous people, seniors and new immigrants are all disproportionately impacted by the rental crisis.
The Vancouver region has long been known for the high cost of home ownership, but because of increased demand and limited new supply, rent increases in the rental market have outpaced income increases in virtually every community in the province. First people couldn’t afford to buy, and now increasingly they can’t afford to rent. What’s next for them?
This is the question that keeps me up at night, and why it’s so critical that we begin to turn the corner on the affordable housing crisis. That’s why I agreed to join the Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability, which I hope will provide real solutions to government, and ultimately to British Columbians struggling to pay their rent.