Housing strategy aims to eliminate homelessness in Victoria

Multiple levels of government come together to invest $90 million

In a bid to end chronic homelessness in Greater Victoria, all three levels of government are combining to invest $90 million for the creation of more than 2,000 rental units of housing.

The funding will be evenly split between the federal government, provincial government and the Capital Regional District (CRD), and would include over 1,000 affordable units, and 400 shelter-rate units that would be rented for only $375 per month without ongoing subsidies.

“Thanks to today’s investment and our collaboration with partners at the provincial and municipal levels, we’re going to make homelessness history in Victoria,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

“In Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy, our government made a commitment to reduce chronic homeless across the country by 50%, and to work with partners at all levels to give more Canadians a place to call home. Today’s announcement shows those two pillars of the strategy in action.”

Today’s announcement took place at Siem Lelum, a former hotel that has been converted into a 26-unit rental housing development for Indigenous people at risk of becoming homeless in Victoria. A second phase of the project included construction of a standalone 15-unit building on the property. Together the projects received $4.3 million from the provincial and federal governments.

“Housing affordability and availability is a critical issue in the capital region and it requires a strong regional response,” said Steve Price, Board Chair of the CRD.

“The CRD is thrilled that both the Province and now the Government of Canada have joined in this important effort to significantly impact homelessness in the region and allow us to deliver more critical housing units. I am delighted to stand with our Provincial and Federal partners as we see the benefits of working together and the outcome that can happen from that collaboration.”

Created by the CRD to contribute to the capital costs associated with building affordable housing, the Regional Housing First Program s expected to create 2,010 rental units, including 400 shelter-rate units within projects that will also include 625 affordable rental units and 985 market rental units.

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