Home News by Region Sooke Affordable rental homes open for Indigenous people in Sooke

Affordable rental homes open for Indigenous people in Sooke

Move-in began in October 2023

charters road, apartment building, sooke
Apartment building at 2170 Charters Road in Sooke. [Artist's Rendering - de Hoog Kierulf Architects]

Wednesday December 13, 2023 | SOOKE, BC [Updated December 16, 2023]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Indigenous families, elders and people in Sooke now have access to 75 below-market homes, with the opening of a new purpose-built rental building at 2170 Charters Rd near the town centre area. It’s close to two schools (elementary and middle) and major road access.

“With this opening, we’re providing peace of mind and hope for families and people who need a little extra help to make ends meet,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing, in a news release today.

People started moving into their new homes in October 2023. The timing of the announcement this week dovetails with current pushes by the federal and provincial governments around housing supply.

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2170 Charters Road in Sooke. [Google map]

“These new homes will not only provide safe places for them to live in, but also enable them to participate fully in the community without having to worry about very high rents,” said Kahlon.

This project is the result of a partnership between the Province through BC Housing, the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Capital Regional District (CRD), and Victoria-based M’akola Housing Society.

kevin albers, ravi parmar, kevin pearson
Touring at the new M’akola housing apartment building in Sooke on Nov 2, 2023 (from left): Kevin Albers, CEO, M’akola Development Services; District of Sooke Councillor Kevin Pearson; and local MLA Ravi Parmar (Langford-Juan de Fuca). [X/Twitter]

Mix of unit sizes:

The new four-storey wood frame apartment building has a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes.

Thirteen units are rented at the provincial shelter rate for people with very low incomes. The building is also pet-friendly, allowing cats and small dogs.

Local District of Sooke councillor Kevin Pearson is impressed that every unit has its own in-suite laundry within a modular-unit construction design.

M’akola Housing Society will operate the building and will prioritize Indigenous individuals, seniors and families for the homes. Non-Indigenous residents are also welcome.

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the BC government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including 278 homes in Sooke.

Quotes provided by BC government:

Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser was quoted in today’s news release: “Through the National Housing Strategy, we are investing in affordable housing across the country, including right here in Sooke.”

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“I am proud that we supported these 75 new homes, which mark a new chapter for those who will live in them. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home and we are committed to making that a reality for all Canadians,” said Fraser in today’s news release.

Sooke area local MLA was quoted in today’s news release: “These affordable homes are a tremendous help to people who are already struggling to get by,” said Ravi Parmar, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca.

“Affordable Indigenous housing is needed all over the province. We are grateful to partners involved for bringing these homes to Sooke, so people can stay in the community they call home,” said Parmar.

Local federal MP:

The local MP is Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke). The current Sooke Mayor is Maja Tait who will be the NDP federal candidate for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke when Garrison steps down. Tait has a background in property management; she’s been Sooke’s mayor since 2014.

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