Am I ever glad you asked that question. I was hoping we'd all get a chance to answer your first question, because is there any higher or better use for housing than to provide safe, secure, affordable housing in a community-based setting? Anyway, the answer to that requires someone else's expertise.
We shifted our attention to acquisition because of the trend we see in the markets. Governments everywhere, particularly in B.C. and Quebec and particularly the federal government, are investing a lot of money in new, affordable supply programs, but because the existing purpose-built rental stock is being captured by investors at a rate in B.C. of three homes for every one new home being built under the affordable housing programs sponsored by the government, even if we're wildly successful in accomplishing all of the goals of the announced programs around new supply, we'll still experience a net loss of affordable homes at the end of the 10-year period of the national housing strategy. It's maybe an understatement to say that would be a suboptimal outcome for the program.
So we have recommended that especially in this economic cycle, in which our business construction costs are going up at the rate of 2% a month and the cost of money is increasing.... In a meeting during the last government, we were sharing some observations with other witnesses before we started, and the last Bank of Canada announcement cost us $4 million overnight on the capital cost and the debt service of one of the affordable housing developments we're looking at.
Now, we don't have any control over that, but it seems to me that we need to create some flexibility in the fund as it's being announced so that we can turn the focus of the fund to where it will have the most impact. Maybe, for the time being, in certain markets, it's acquisition of the purpose-built rental stock that's at risk of being captured with tenants at risk of being displaced, and so the rents will inevitably climb to deliver the return that investors legitimately expect from the acquisition of those assets.