VANCOUVER -- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh acknowledges that his plan to build 500,000 affordable housing units is ambitious, but says that's what Canada needs right now.

The New Democrats propose to build that housing over 10 years, with half of the units coming in five years.

The plan would come at a cost of $5 billion in the first year and $3 billion in subsequent years.

Speaking today in Vancouver, where housing affordability is a top issue, Singh says any housing plan needs to be ambitious because there is a crisis, and a crisis is no time for half measures.

Singh is spending the waning days of the campaign targeting a key issue in a key battleground - his party is thought to be in a tight race with the Greens in several British Columbia ridings.

The NDP has also proposed a rental subsidy of up to $5,000 for half a million families and individuals.