Sunday December 13, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
This week the CRD announced three new housing projects that bring 282 new affordable housing units to the west shore area: two buildings at a development in View Royal and one in Langford.
Families and single people with mixed incomes will benefit from 282 new affordable housing units now renting in the communities of View Royal and Langford as part of the Regional Housing First Program (RHFP). Properties funded by the RHFP provide a mix of rental options, including units for people who can live independently with supports.
Despite the pandemic, residents began moving into both locations on December 1 under the management of the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC). Tenancy applications for the affordable units are currently being accepted, it was stated in a news release on December 7 from the Capital Regional District (CRD).
West Park & Spencer Close:
West Park, located by Thetis Lake in View Royal, consists of two six-storey rental buildings at 1910 and 1920 West Park Lane. The property has 152 units, including 20 accessible units and 34 units renting at the current provincial income assistance shelter rate ($375/month).
Spencer Close in Langford consists of a single six-storey rental building at 2763 Spencer Rd. The property has 130 units, including 13 accessible units and 26 units renting at the current provincial income assistance shelter rate ($375/month).
The Regional Housing First Program is an equal partnership agreement between the CRD, the BC Government through BC Housing, and the federal government though the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
CRD says that the equal partnership will see a direct investment of $120 million to construct up to 2000 units of affordable housing as part of the $600 million program. The program was initiated to create more affordable rental housing including 400 units renting at the current provincial income assistance shelter rate to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the capital region.
Quotes as provided by CRD:
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why it is with great pleasure that our Government, through the National Housing Strategy, and with innovative help from its partners, is supporting developments like West Park and Spencer Close, which will provide residents of Vancouver Island’s Westshore with more affordable housing options.”
Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca
“Our government is committed to ensuring that British Columbians have access to the right mix of the affordable housing they can afford. These new homes will provide more options for people with a range of incomes on the Westshore with safe and secure homes they can call home. We’re proud to work with our partners in the federal government and the CRD to address the urgent need for affordable housing in the region.”
Mitzi Dean, BC Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin
“Safe, affordable housing is critical for families. Having somewhere to call home provides a foundation to allow families and young people to thrive. I know this program will make such an important difference for people living in the Westshore and surrounding communities.”
Colin Plant, CRD Board Chair
“This is an extraordinary occasion where we can have a considerable impact on housing affordability and availability. It has taken immense efforts on the part of the CRD, the CRHC and our partners to move quickly enough to build the kinds of housing options our community needs. Opening two buildings at the same time underscores that housing need.”
David Screech, Mayor – Town of View Royal & Vice-Chair of the CRHC Board
“Housing is the most pressing issue facing our region today. West Park, and buildings like it, should be celebrated as they are the result of local, Provincial and Federal governments collaborating and coming together to meet the needs of the greater community. The Town of View Royal is extremely proud to be part of the answer to our housing crisis.”
Stew Young, Mayor – City of Langford
“As the fastest growing municipality in BC, Langford has played a large role in accommodating housing growth out to the Westshore. Langford is giving families and singles across the income spectrum a community to call home and to build a future in.”
- The Regional Housing First Program partnership is expected to create up to 2,000 rental units. 20% of the units will be rented at provincial income assistance rates within projects that will also include at least 31% affordable units and 49% near-market units on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
- The Regional Housing First Program currently includes nine projects, which have created, or are in the process of creating, 960 units:
- Langford – 3 projects (Millstream Ridge, Hockley, Spencer) 382 units
- View Royal – 1 project (West Park) 152 units
- Salt Spring Island – 1 project (Croftonbrook) 56 units
- Sooke – 2 projects (Drennan and Charters) 245 units
- Victoria – 2 projects (Cedar Grove, Michigan) 125 units
- With RHFP contributions of $10.2 million for West Park and $7.8 million for Spencer Close, combined with the other seven projects, the total committed RHFP contribution is $66.7 million of the $120 million total.
- The Capital Region Housing Corporation will operate West Park and Spencer Close. Tenancy applications are currently being accepted. Rental information on both projects can be found at www.capitalregionhousing.ca.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit: www.placetocallhome.ca
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: https://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
To learn more about the Regional Housing First Program, visit: https://www.crd.bc.ca/project/regional-housing-first-program