Victoria, BC: Construction is underway on a new housing project that will replace three aging apartment buildings with 97 new affordable rental homes for families, seniors, and people with low- to moderate-incomes in Victoria.
Through an innovative partnership between the Government of Canada, the BC Government and the CRD, this project is receiving $4.5 million through the Regional Housing First Program, to eliminate chronic homelessness and generate new rental housing options in southern Vancouver Island and surrounding Gulf Islands.
The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $11.7 million in low-cost financing through its HousingHub initiative, a $4.6 million grant through Building BC: Community Housing Fund, and approximately $187,000 in annual operating funding. CRD is contributing the land and equity; the Regional Housing Trust Fund contributed $950,000; and the City of Victoria is providing $620,000. The Capital Regional Housing Corporation will own and operate the new buildings.
Located at 330 – 336 Michigan St., Michigan Square will replace 53 units spread across three aging apartment buildings that became uninhabitable due to water damage. The buildings have been demolished and their residents have been relocated to other affordable housing in the community.
The redevelopment will replace the demolished units with two new four-storey apartment buildings. The buildings will have a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, including:
• 24 units for people with very low incomes (rented at the provincial shelter rate);
• 22 rent-geared-to-income units (where people with low- to moderate-incomes pay 30% of their income);
• 51 units for people with moderate incomes (rented at market rates).
The development will also include a private courtyard with a playground and a community garden, as well as a gathering area and bicycle storage. When construction is complete, former residents in the older apartment buildings will have the option to move into the new homes. The heritage home and nine town homes on-site will not be redeveloped, and tenants will stay in their homes with unchanged rents. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2023, with residents moving in shortly after.
John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City, said: “Our Government is investing in affordable, high quality rental housing in Victoria and across BC to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for those who need it most. Thanks to the combined efforts of our partners, we are able to give a helping hand to individuals in need, and in doing so, we are contributing to the economic and social well-being of the entire community.”
Jeremy Loveday, chair, Capital Regional Housing Corporation, said:“The Capital Regional Housing Corporation builds safe, and accessible communities where our tenants can feel a sense of belonging, and that commitment continues in our redevelopment of Michigan Square.”