The Province is providing the Rick Hansen Foundation with $9 million to further their work building accessibility in B.C.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong made the announcement on behalf of Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell on Thursday.
“The Rick Hansen Accessibility Certification program moves B.C. toward being an innovator and a leading example of building designs that support inclusive communities and ensure accessibility for all citizens. This is part of the B.C. government’s ongoing commitment to increase housing accessibility and affordability”, de Jong said in a media release.
The funds will be used to create and administer two housing and infrastructure programs that will reduce barriers for people with disabilities. The funding includes $5 million to support the Rick Hansen Foundation as they create a LEED-style certification program that will identify buildings and developments that are leaders in accessible design. The other $4 million will be used to create an accessibility fund that community organizations and businesses can access to help fund projects that will lead to a more accessible British Columbia.
The Accessibility Certification Program will provide a tiered rating system that recognizes developers, landlords and building owners who make a commitment to exceed the current accessibility standards. The program will design and implement a method to assess and rate buildings, public spaces, and new housing developments across the province.
The accessibility fund will provide incentives for public, private, First Nations and other groups to accelerate the adoption of universal and inclusive design principles across a wide variety of buildings including housing and public spaces in the current built environment.
These programs support Accessibility 2024, B.C.’s 10-year plan to make British Columbia Canada’s most progressive province for people with disabilities by 2024.
(Files from Government of British Columbia)