Langford and Sooke residents in need of affordable housing will soon see some reprieve with the possibility of 494 affordable homes coming to both communities by 2021.
The Capital Regional District (CRD), BC Housing and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced Thursday morning that four affordable housing projects will be coming to Langford and Sooke.
In Langford, the CRD Board, in partnership with the provincial government, acquired two properties — one on Spencer Road and the other on Hockley Avenue. Once construction of the two properties is complete, the Capital Regional Housing Corporation will operate the units.
The Spencer Road development will add 130 new units to the community, according to a release from the CRD, BC Housing and CMHC. Twenty-six of those units will go at shelter rate, 36 at an affordable housing rate and 60 at a near-market rate.
The Hockley Avenue development will add 120 units to Langford. Of those, 24 will be at shelter rate, 36 at affordable housing rates and 60 at near-market.
“The affordable housing units at Hockley Avenue and Spencer Road are welcome additions to Langford’s affordable housing stock,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “Affordable housing remains a top priority of Langford’s city council and this significant investment from multiple levels of government is well received and very much appreciated.”
The projects are being made possible through the Regional Housing First Program, a partnership initiated by equal $30 million investments from the CRD, BC Housing and the CMHC under the National Housing Strategy’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund.
The program aims to eliminate chronic homelessness in southern Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands. The program uses a mixed-market housing approach and will invest up to $90 million towards projects meeting different housing needs to create mixed-income communities throughout the region.
The mix of rent levels will be 20 per cent shelter units at the provincial assistance rate of $375, 31 per cent affordable units and 49 per cent near-market units.
The shelter-rate units will provide a down-payment to get the project started and the revenue from the affordable and near-market units will cover operating and maintenance costs of each project.
“We’re working hard with our provincial and municipal partners,” said Jean-Yves Douclos, the minister of families, children and social development. “These land acquisitions and new projects build on our commitment to help make homelessness history in Victoria and the capital region.”
The two proposed projects in Sooke will have units ready in 2021. BC Housing has moved forward with purchasing the land in Sooke and the projects are in the planning phase now. Non-profit housing providers will be able to express their interest in operating the properties which will be on Drennan Road and Throup Road.
The Regional Housing First Program already has two projects underway at Cedar Grove in Victoria and Croftonbrook on Salt Spring Island.