Friday, November 22, 2019 ~ VICTORIA
~ West Shore Voice News
People with low and middle incomes in Victoria will benefit from 130 new affordable rental homes in the downtown area.
“Affordable housing projects like this are long overdue in Victoria and throughout British Columbia,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, in a news release November 22. “Alongside our community partners, we’re taking action to ensure more people in Victoria have a safe and affordable place to call home.”
Middle income is defined by the BC Government as households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $150,000.
A 11-storey project in downtown Victoria’s Harris Green neighbourhood, the building at 1025 Johnson Street will be the first phase of the Johnson / Cook / Yates multi-phased development.
The ground floor Johnson Street frontage will include a state-of-the-art replacement for the City of Victoria’s No. 1 firehall and a two-bay rest-ready ambulance station. An emergency communications centre, crew quarters and an office component will occupy levels two and three.
The Province is partnering with Pacifica Housing and Dalmatian Developments to build the new homes at 1025 Johnson Street. The 130 homes will be the largest purpose-built affordable rental project of its kind in downtown Victoria and will be located in a mixed-use building above a new fire hall.
The new affordable housing project was officially announced today November 22, 2019 by Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill; City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, and project partners.
“This is the first new affordable housing to be built for people in our downtown in more than 20 years,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “It’s exactly the kind of response to the housing crisis we need from community-minded companies like these, working in partnership with the provincial government and our local housing providers. This project also brings our community a new home for our Fire Hall #1 that will meet the highest standard for a post-disaster public safety building.”
Pacifica Housing is receiving $19 million from the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, as well as annual operating funding for the project. People in need of affordable rental housing will have access to studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes ranging in living area size from 365 sq ft to 1,011 sq ft.
“Victoria has an acute shortage of affordable rental housing,” said Margaret Eckenfelder, executive director, Pacifica Housing. “The 130 new homes will improve the lives of families, children and individuals in our community and ensure that Victoria remains vibrant and diverse. Pacifica is excited to be part of this unique partnership and hopes that it can provide a model for future much-needed affordable developments.”
Dalmatian Developments is building the structure as Phase 1 of a mixed-use community. More than 370 market-rate homes will be built in the remaining phases of the development that will also include a diverse mix of commercial, retail and restaurants, as well as dedicated public spaces, including a 2,700-square-foot public plaza.
“We’re very proud to be a partner in building these affordable rental homes as the first phase of a vibrant and inclusive community in downtown Victoria,” said Elizabeth Jawl, director, Dalmatian Developments and Jawl Residential. “Working collaboratively with BC Housing, Pacifica Housing and the City of Victoria, we have achieved affordability through innovation, investment and dedication, and we hope this is the first of many projects we work on together.”
These 130 homes are part of the more than 22,000 new homes that are complete or underway throughout BC because of provincial investments.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
* This housing development is funded through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund, a $1.9-billion investment over 10 years to build more than 14,000 mixed-income rental homes throughout the province.
* The projected rent mix
* 26 studios and one-bedroom units for people with low incomes (i.e., people receiving income assistance): $375;
* 65 rent-geared-to-income units (people with low to moderate incomes): approximately $640 (one-bedroom units) to $840 (two-bedroom units); and
* 39 middle-income units: approximately $1,750 (two-bedroom units) to $2,000 (three-bedroom units).
* The Province is working in partnership to increase the supply of affordable rental housing in Victoria. Through government’s Building BC program, there are more than 680 homes complete or underway in Victoria, with an additional 782 student homes being delivered at the University of Victoria.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/