Federal housing tour makes Saanich stop

Federal minister joins B.C. housing minister and Saanich mayor on visit to Cottage Grove site on Quadra Street

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell speaks about affordable housing at Cottage Grove in Saanich. Sitting are Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell speaks about affordable housing at Cottage Grove in Saanich. Sitting are Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins

The under-construction Cottage Grove site on Quadra Street hosted federal and provincial government representatives on Tuesday as the federal Liberals continued the tour following the June 26 announcement the federal government will focus its $150 million commitment on affordable housing in B.C.

Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal minister of families, children and social development, and the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and B.C. Housing Minister Rich Coleman spoke at the soon-to-be completed Cottage Grove supportive seniors housing development at 3207 Quadra St.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell was among the local politicians who also attended the event, hosted by the Victoria Cool Aid Society.

“This facility is a great location with access to community services, transportation and shopping in Saanich,” Atwell said. “I want to thank the City of Victoria… and recognize Victoria’s mayor and council on [this joint venture], for making a difference with those less fortunate, who more often than not, find refuge in Victoria’s downtown core…I hope this is not the last, as mental health and addiction know no boundaries.”

The late-afternoon affair was much calmer than the affordable housing forum Duclos and Coleman attended later Tuesday at the Hotel Grand Pacific.

Vic PD turned away a group of more than 30 protesters who were in support of additional affordable housing and attempted to enter the hotel. Some became aggressive, engaging in a minor scuffle with hotel staff and police.

“Some of the protesters needed to be calmed down, our patrol units did not let them in as the hotel was booked for a private function,” said Vic PD Const. Matt Rutherford.

The protesters then marched to the tent city that continues to exist on Victoria’s courthouse lawn.

The 45-unit Cottage Grove is expected to open in early 2017, and is designed for older adults who’ve experienced homelessness or are homeless. It will also offer residents a variety of in-house support services such as medication monitoring and life skills programs. Residents will also be connected to mental health and addictions services. The building will feature a lounge, dining area and communal laundry area.

A key priority is to have rent at Cottage Grove in line with social assistance shelter allowance rates.

Funding for Cottage Grove comes from a spectrum of groups, the provincial and federal Canada-B.C. Investment in Affordable Housing ($6 million), the CRD ($675,000), Saanich ($112,000) and Victoria ($112,000).

Cool Aid initiated the project with funds and generous donations from individuals, businesses and foundations who contributed to the region’s Help End Homelessness capital campaign.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins represented the CRD Capital Housing on Tuesday, praising Cottage Grove as a critical piece in the region’s progress towards more affordable and supporting housing.

The CRD Regional Housing trust fund has contributed $10 million over the last 10 years to create 875 units of affordable housing throughout the region.

“[Cottage Grove] is an excellent project and addresses a real need in the region for affordable housing,” Desjardins said.

In May, the CRD and province contributed $30 million each towards a $60 million fund for affordable or supportive housing projects in the region.

 

Just Posted

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

Brooke Morneau, a previous participant in car parades, will watch one she has organized for this weekend from her Sidney workplace. (Courtesy Brooke Morneau)
Rolling show and shine ready to cruise Sidney through Saanich

Car parade past senior care homes set for Saturday, June 19

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read