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New 205-unit tower with affordable and supportive rental homes proposed for downtown Victoria


A new 20-storey rental tower in downtown Victoria could be the first of its kind to be put forward through a new municipal policy that's designed to speed up construction for housing.

The City of Victoria's "rapid development" policy allows non-profits, government, and co-op housing groups to avoid rezoning and hearing requirements.

However, the proposals must be for affordable housing or co-operative housing, and must be consistent with the city's official community plan, among other criteria.

"A policy like this could speed up the process by six months, a year, in some cases possibly even more," said BC Housing vice president Sara Goldvine.

BC Housing is leading the development of the 20-storey affordable and supportive housing tower, which has been proposed for the 900-block of Pandora Avenue.

The proposal includes 205 units in total, including 158 affordable rental homes and 47 supportive units – as well as 16,000 square feet of community space intended for child care and recreation.

A non-profit service provider would be contracted by BC Housing to manage the supportive housing units.

The non-profit would include outreach workers that offer skills training, employment help and connection to other community services.

BC Housing says it would also keep an eye on safety for the building and community, including security cameras and lights, 24/7 staff at the building, and policies for smoking and guests.

The development went through a trio of community engagement meetings this week. If the project moves forward, more future engagement sessions may be scheduled, according to BC Housing.

The proposed development falls in line with the province's plans to tackle B.C.'s housing shortage.

On Wednesday, Ravi Kahlon, who was named minister of the province’s new Ministry of Housing, said his three priorities to address the crisis would be "speed, supply and synergy."

If approved, BC Housing hopes to have the site ready for people to move in by 2028. Top Stories

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