It's been decades since new residences were erected at the University of Victoria. Saanich supports UVic

Saanich calls for more campus housing

Province asked to remove the barriers stopping provincial post-secondary institutions from building new on-campus student housing

On the same day the province announced a $500 million commitment to affordable housing, Coun. Fred Haynes approached Saanich council with a call to action for additional housing at colleges and universities.

Haynes’s report on Monday suggested sending a letter to the premier, and to the ministers responsible for housing and finance, asking to remove the barriers which are stopping provincial post-secondary institutions from building new on-campus student housing.

Haynes said the University of Victoria has the capital reserves ready to build student housing, and while Camosun College doesn’t, it, like UVic, has a desire to build a residence. He also requested a meeting with the premier and her ministers to discuss the matter.

“We know the problem is one of debt,” Haynes said. “We need policy rewritten that a university in B.C. can borrow money without it reflecting as a provincial debt.”

It’s an easy solution that brings relief to the pressures of the housing market and the 0.6 per cent vacancy rate in Saanich, Haynes added.

For now, the province’s $500 million announcement is said to be mostly for affordable housing, as well as built-in partnership with non-profits, local governments, other organizations and the private sector. Haynes is hoping organizations could include post-secondary schools.

In the same report, Haynes also suggested sending copies of the letter to the University of Victoria, Camosun College, the mayors of Oak Bay and Victoria, the Capital Regional District chair and local MLAs.

Council voted in favour of sending out the letters, despite some skepticism.

“If UVic wants this why don’t they come to us and ask for our support? I don’t see them here,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff.

Meanwhile, the same thing happened at Oak Bay’s council on Monday.

Oak Bay’s UVic liaison, Coun. Tom Croft, brought the letter to the table, gaining council approval. Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen will pen the same letter to the same offices.

Croft said it was easy to bring Haynes’ motion to Oak Bay, not just because Oak Bay and Saanich share the UVic campus.

“We have a housing crisis everywhere,” he said. “People in many ways are being taken advantage of by landlords.”

Oak Bay shut down a home in Henderson that housed nine students this year after the tenants themselves complained, Croft said.

 

– With files from Christine van Reeuwyk

 

 

Just Posted

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read