CRD to build 2,000 new affordable homes
VICTORIA -- With help from the federal and B.C. governments, the Capital Regional District (CRD's) "Regional Housing First Program" will see the construction of another 2,000 affordable homes in the region by 2022.
The initiative will see each government agency invest $10 million that will allow the program to build a total of $150 million worth of housing in the region. The new investment is expected to provide as many as 2,000 homes for moderate to low-income individuals and families.
"This is all new build and that's what is so exciting," said CRD board chair Colin Plant. "Now with this additional money we will be able to take on new projects."
The CRD designed the Regional Housing First Program to allow it to build the housing with this initial investment.
Capital Regional Housing will then rent the units in a housing model that is self-sustaining by having renters pay for the mortgage of each housing development at reduced rates.
"Within this model there are rents set at the BC Income Assistance Shelter rate of $375 a month," said Plant.
"There will be rents at subsidized housing rates with the balance being ‘near market’ housing rates," he added.
Plant says of the projected 2.000 new homes, 400 units will be rented at the provincial shelter rate of $375.00. The suites will be rented to people dealing with chronic homelessness who are ready to live independently with supports.
"I would suggest that nobody is likely finding their own unit for $375," said Plant. "That's why this is so important, because we know that you have to have housing to have a firm foundation to have a successful life."
"For those who need housing this will be the first step," he said.
In order to build the new housing, the CRD will be looking for parties that already have land that is ready to be developed. The CRD expects to begin construction of the new homes by 2022.
"(There will be) close to 2,000 units when we are done," said Plant.
"Almost a full percentage of housing which doesn't sound like a lot until you realize that's 2,000 families, 2,000 citizens who need housing and will have it in a safe federal, provincial and local government partnership."