Saanich council endorsed CRD bylaw changes to allow an extra $10-million to be borrowed to complete the Regional Housing First Program initiatives. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich council endorsed CRD bylaw changes to allow an extra $10-million to be borrowed to complete the Regional Housing First Program initiatives. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich council consents to CRD borrowing $10M extra for Regional Housing First Program

Approval from all CRD members required for loan to proceed

Saanich has given the Capital Regional District (CRD) the go-ahead on a $10-million loan for a long-term housing project.

In early January, the CRD board approved two bylaw amendments which would permit the Regional Housing First Program (RHFP) to continue.

However, in order to proceed with the bylaw changes, consent is required from the 13 municipalities and three electoral areas that make up the CRD.

The RHFP was created to bring mixed-market affordable housing options to the capital region including 400 units to be rented out at the provincial income assistance shelter rate – $375 per month. The program is a partnership between the CRD, the provincial government through B.C. Housing and the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

READ ALSO: CRD will borrow $10M to create 400 low-income housing units

Originally, $90 million was invested into the program, but the CRD has determined that an extra $30 million was needed to keep construction on track to be completed by Dec. 31 2021.

The program partners have agreed to match and each contribute an extra $10 million if the CRD can fund the final $10 million.

In order to borrow the extra money, the CRD board needed to amend two of its bylaws. Once the board approved the changes, consent was required from two-thirds of the 16 local governments that make up the CRD.

Consent from the 13 municipalities was to be granted or denied at council meetings. At a Tuesday night meeting, Saanich council unanimously endorsed the amendments needed to extend the housing program by $10 million with no discussion. Consent from the three electoral areas will be determined by the Alternative Approval Process where those who object will complete elector response forms. If more than 10 per cent of electors object, consent is denied.

Elector response forms in relation to the bylaw changes must be submitted by Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

affordable housingBC HousingCRDDistrict of SaanichRental accommodation