$90-million Federal-Provincial-CRD Housing announcement

The federal and provincial government, along with the Captial Regional District, are partnering on a $90-million housing initiative to build over 2-thousand new rental housing units throughout Greater Victoria. Each will kick in $30-million.

It was in 2016 the CRD committed $30 million to create the Regional Housing First Program, which is contributing to the capital costs of building affordable housing and addressing the needs of the chronically homeless.

The Program partnership is forecast to create 2,010 rental units.  Those units will incorporate 400 shelter-rate units within multi-use buildings that will also include 625 affordable rental units and 985 market rental units.

There will be rezoning hearings involved - and CRD Chair Steve Price admits there will likely be some pushback:

" But I mean I think in  this case because of the sheer need in our communities, and we can see what's going on with people that are either homeless now or about to be homeless, that this is critical work that we're doing.  And that will weigh in people's decisions."

 Price says it's an ambitious endeavor, noting took the Regional Housing Corporation 40 years to accumulate 1290 units.  But this project will add 2-thousand units to that in just the next 4 years.

The projects must be underway and the money spent by the end of 2021.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who advocated for the area's housing needs in Ottawa, says innovative approaches will be needed -- ncluding approaching developers to propose buying floors in buildings already underway.

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