Families and individuals with low incomes will benefit from new affordable rental housing in Greater Victoria, thanks to an agreement between the provincial government and the Capital Regional District (CRD).
The Housing First Initiative partnership agreement will create new affordable housing projects for people in need throughout the region. The Province has committed up to $30 million in capital funding, with a matching contribution from the CRD, totalling $60 million.
As part of the agreement, Island Health will provide mental health and addiction services for projects where supports are required.
The partners have also committed to developing a Regional Housing First Initiative Community Plan to help with the development of new supportive and affordable housing in the CRD. This will be done in partnership with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.
The Province’s contribution will be funded through the Provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (PIAH) Program, a $355 million investment by the Province to create more than 2,000 affordable rental housing units throughout British Columbia.
The Province will be issuing Requests for Proposals this fall to partner with municipalities, non-profit societies and other community groups on innovative housing projects that create affordable housing for individuals living in the CRD.
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing –
“This investment will go a long way to help people in the region find a safe, affordable place to call home. Thanks to CRD’s contribution, we can now to partner with non-profit societies, government agencies, the private sector and community organizations to invest and build long-term affordable housing for people in need.”
Terry Lake, Minister of Health –
“This partnership continues our commitment to helping those with mental health and substance use challenges move towards a brighter future. The funding will help these individuals find a safe and supportive home base and helps them focus on getting the treatments they need.”
Barbara Desjardins, board chair, Capital Regional District –
“As a common priority for the region, the CRD board unanimously supported the Housing First Initiative at the December board meeting. This partnership is an important milestone recognizing the financial and health support services needed to support the goal to sustainably reduce homelessness in the capital region by 2018.”
Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria –
“This is a historic moment for the region. The Coalition to End Homelessness looks forward to continued collaborative work to develop and implement the Regional Housing First Initiative and to help ensure that the most marginalized in our community get the housing and health supports they require.”
- Funding from the PIAH program is being generated from the Non-Profit Asset Transfer (NPAT) program initiated in 2014, whereby BC Housing is transferring select land and buildings to non-profit housing providers. All net proceeds from the NPAT program will be reinvested into affordable housing.
- Last year, the B.C. government invested more than $19 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 5,100 households in Victoria. This includes providing support for more than 2,200 senior households and more than 1,300 family households.
- The Province has invested more than $176 million over the past five years toward approximately 5,000 units of subsidized housing and rent supplements in Victoria.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4.4 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families.
For more information about services and supports for the homeless in Victoria, please visit: www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/fs_Homeless%20Supports_Victoria.pdf
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