The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board is moving forward with a loan needed to complete a long-term housing project in the region.
The board approved bylaw changes required to borrow $10 million in an effort to provide 400 housing units at low-income shelter rates for people in need.
The Regional Housing First Program (RHFP), an equal partnership between the CRD, BC Housing and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), was initiated with the goal to “create more affordable rental housing” and “address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the capital region.”
Originally, the RHFP’s goal was to spend $90 million to develop mixed-market communities, including 400 units to be rented at $375 per month – the provincial income assistance shelter rate.
So far, the project has completed or is in the process of completing, 900 units and is on track to deliver 1,300 units total by the end of 2021 – but the CRD says escalating construction costs mean only 300 will be priced at the shelter rate.
The CRD says an additional $30 million – dependent on negotiations with program partners to match the region’s $10 million contribution – will put the project back on track to complete the 400 it had planned.
In a media release, CRD senior manager Andy Orr says: “BC Housing and the CRD continue to work with CMHC to leverage a matching grant to bring the total to $120 million.”
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