The federal government is doubling the financing available for a British Columbia housing plan the prime minister called "transformative."

Justin Trudeau was in Vancouver on Tuesday to announce that his government was adding another $2 billion in financing to the province's BC Builds plan aimed at constructing more middle-income rental housing.

The prime minister called the plan, "ambitious and fundamentally practical," adding the additional federal financing will help create another 8,000 to 10,000 new homes.

"What you're doing here is transformative," Trudeau said while on a rooftop of a condominium at the University of B.C. 

"And I am hoping that other provinces take careful note of the leadership that you've shown," he said. "These are the things we need right across the country."

The money comes on top of $2 billion in low-cost provincial financing for developers to fast-track affordable rental housing on government-, community- or non-profit-owned and underused land

The province is also committing $950 million to build rental homes under the program.

B.C. Premier David Eby was also at the announcement and said the model of funding will allow the government to "change the direction of housing."

"What the prime minister has announced today, $2 billion in additional funding for the BC Builds program, will be transformational for thousands of families in British Columbia that are desperate for housing," he said.

"They can afford housing, they just need it to be available. This money will make it available for them."

The BC Builds program promises to use lower government borrowing rates to offer lower-cost financing and grants to bring down construction costs and have projects completed within 12 to 18 months.

Renters in the buildings will be income tested so they spend no more than about 30 per cent of their wages on rent.

The province has so far identified 20 sites for possible construction. On Tuesday, Eby announced plans for a new 112-unit co-op in the Yaletown neighbourhood, with construction starting this summer. 

After the announcement, Trudeau is scheduled to visit a high school and meet students before an event at a community centre with seniors in the afternoon. 

Trudeau's announcement comes as provincial policymakers return to the legislature for the throne speech to begin the spring legislative session. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.