The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)

Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Three residential development projects proposing to create more than 100 units of housing for people on income assistance received a significant financial boost Oct. 14 at the Capital Regional District board table.

The affordable portion of the projects, two in Sooke administered by M’Akola Housing Society and one in Victoria overseen by Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC), were awarded $1.665 million in grants from the Regional Housing Trust Fund.

RELATED STORY: CRD will borrow $10M to create 400 low-income housing units

“These grants are crucial in creating affordable housing across the capital region,” said Charlayne Thornton-Joe, trust fund commission chair. “Without this local contribution, these projects would not happen.”

The region’s partnership with B.C. Housing and the Canada Morgage and Housing enhances localized funding.

Each party contributed $40 million toward a capital pool that helps build 400 units of housing to be rented out at B.C.’s income assistance shelter rate of $375 a month. The apartments are intended for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

The CRHC’s Michigan Square redevelopment project in James Bay, which goes to public hearing Oct. 22, includes one building in which 15 units will rent for $375. That building will also have 38 other affordable units, the creation of which is helped by a $570,000 trust fund grant. Due to break ground in fall 2021, the project is expected to see occupancy in 2023.

In Sooke, M’Akola is overseeing the creation of residences on Sooke Road at Drennan Road, and another on Charters Road.

A $12.4-million portion of the proposed Sooke/Drennan project would see 34 units renting at the income assistance rate and 51 affordable rental units, the facilitation of which is being helped by a $765,000 housing trust fund grant.

The Charters project, which has a preliminary total capital cost of $5.2 million and received a $330,000 grant, calls for 75 new affordable units in a four-storey modular building slated for completion by summer 2021. Twenty-two of the units will be classified as affordable under the Regional Housing First Program model.

RELATED STORY: New affordable homes on the way in Sooke

Under the mixed-market model utilized by the Regional Housing First Program, the combined $120 million contributed by the three bodies could leverage up to 2,000 units of local housing, with a value of up to $600 million. The Regional Housing Trust Fund is currently prioritizing contributions to approved Housing First projects.

For more information on the CRD’s regional housing trust fund, visit crd.bc.ca.


 

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