Friday, November 23 ~ LANGFORD.
by Mary P Brooke ~ West Shore Voice News
Seniors and families in Langford gained big-time in Langford today November 23, with the announcement of 80 more rental units and 36 more affordable child-care spaces at a central Goldstream Avenue location. Construction is to begin before year-end.
On site at 616 Goldstream Avenue in the rain, Premier John Horgan announced Phase 2 of the Oak Park redevelopment at 616 Goldstream Avenue.
There used to be 25 townhome units (built in the mid 1980s) on the site. Of those, 13 units were demolished in recent years, making way for construction of the new 73-unit Oak Park building owned by Pacifica Housing that opened recently.
Tenants of the previous townhomes had been assisted with relocation to neighbouring Pacifica Housing projects. Tenants in the new 4-storey building have very recently relocated out of the 12 remaining old townhomes that will soon be gone to make way for construction of Phase 2.
The child-care facility is to be operated by Atira Women’s Resource Centre, providing full-time spaces for 12 infants and toddlers and 24 spaces for preschoolers age 3 to 5 years.
Horgan said the project is a “model of the kind of project we are building throughout the province”, saying it addresses the housing crisis and improves affordability for seniors and families.
Affordable housing developments have long been part of the regular fabric of housing options in Langford. City of Langford council under the guidance of Mayor Stew Young and Councillor Denise Blackwell who chairs the Planning, Zoning and Affordable Housing Committee have steered the direction of a range of housing options for years.
The steady population growth in Langford is in large part due to its relative housing affordability compared to most other municipalities that are within reasonable commuting distance to the Greater Victoria core for government jobs and post-secondary.
Today’s announcement was attended by Young and Blackwell, as well as Langford councillors Lanny Seaton and Lillian Szpak. Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) also attended.
Pacifica Housing was represented by that group’s president Jaime Hall and executive director Dean Fortin.
Leadership of both the province and municipality working together was key to the success of this project. Hall said “the province came through” and commended the City of Langford for DCC funding and the positive efforts of city staff to facilitate aspects of the project.
Fortin noted the importance of time-saving that is achieved when young children attend child care in the same building as their family home. This contributes to more family time together rather than additional time for child care pickups and dropoffs around the employment commitments of parents.
The $8 million in funding for Phase 2 is part of the province’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund. The $1.9-billion fund aims to build more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for middle-income households, seniors and people with low incomes. The first set of projects, announced on November 13, 2018, includes 4,902 homes in 42 communities throughout BC to be built over the next two to three years.
The phase is one of 72 projects selected for funding through the Community Housing Fund, which was announced in Budget 2018. Twenty of the projects are on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
Phase 1 of the redevelopment included replacing 13 townhouse units with a four-storey 73-unit apartment complex. Tenants from the first 13 units moved into neighbouring Pacifica-operated properties. The tenants from the remaining 12 now live in the building built during Phase 1.
Once the entire redevelopment is finished, there will be 153 new affordable rental units. The province has invested $15.5 million in capital costs for the redevelopment including $7.5 million during Phase 1, which was part of the Housing Innovation program.
The City of Langford is contributing $100,000 from its affordable housing fund and $788,065 in municipal reductions. Pacifica Housing has provided the land valued at $3.15 million.