Federal government announces $11.3 million for social housing in capital region

The capital region is receiving $11.3 million in federal money to construct 46 social-housing units.

Funding through the federal Rapid Housing Initiative was announced Friday, adding on to an earlier investment of $13.1 million to create 91 housing units in Greater Victoria.

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Under the initiative’s rules, construction must be completed within a year. Funding is to help those who are in uncertain housing situations, either homeless or at risk of being homeless, or living in temporary shelters because of the pandemic.

Once the project is built, the province will pay for its operating costs for 20 years.

The money has not been allocated yet. To access the funds, the Capital Regional District must make a recommendation for a project to be built.

The province has set up hundreds of housing units to house people who were camping in parks.

Saanich Coun. Colin Plant, CRD chairman, said all levels of government are working together to find ways to help those most in need.

The project built with federal money will be life-changing, said Transportation Minister Rob Fleming, the MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. Once people have homes, they are able to get access to health care and skills training.

Federal money is being delivered by the National Housing Strategy, introduced in 2017 and aimed at investing $72 billion over 10 years. Another $1.5 billion was announced in the 2021 budget.

“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” said Adam Vaughan, parliamentary secretary to the minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

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