Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the 588 newly announced units will ‘make a dent’ in the housing crisis, though more needs to be done. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

City of Victoria to see 588 affordable housing units

Provincial funding is aiming to see 4,900 new mixed-income rental properties across B.C.

The City of Victoria will be involved in three out of five major affordable housing projects supported by provincial funding.

The province recently announced $492 million will be invested in 42 communities across B.C. to create 4,900 mixed-income rental homes. Of those units, 588 will be in Victoria.

ALSO READ: Affordable housing needs mandated policy

“We’re deeply, deeply grateful. This is a huge priority for our residents, for our citizens, for our business community,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

The City has been involved in acquiring land for three of the projects, including two which were done in partnership with School District 61. These sites include above the new Victoria Fire Hall between Johnson and Yates streets, the land at the former Burnside School and the Capital Region Housing Corporation’s Caledonia complex.

The other two sites are privately owned properties.

ALSO READ: Affordable housing project breaks ground in Saanich

With the funding rolling in, the City will take on two roles: contributing the land and regulating the property.

Helps noted that all future buildings must still go through the same zoning applications as any other development, but that they will be prioritized.

“We do expedite all affordable housing projects, so we do expect to see them moved quite quickly,” she said, noting that any scheduling for the projects are up to the developers.

“I would say it’s a good start, but there’s more to do,” Helps said. “The 588 units will certainly make a dent but there’s still much more work to do, we need many more units.”

There will also be 85 units built in Saanich, 80 in Langford and 161 Esquimalt.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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