Sooke Council has expressed concerned about affordability of housing in Sooke. New developments, in lieu of a 10% dedication to affordable housing, are often opting for the alternative to include secondary suites in their homes. However, as some elected officials mention, there’s no guarantee that these rentals would a) be affordable, and b) be used for long term rentals (as opposed to Airbnbs). Both the province and the feds have recently indicated that housing is a concern. Here’s what Penticton (pop. 33,761), a town just slightly more than 2.5 the size of Sooke (pop. 13,001), is doing in collaboration with the province.
People experiencing homelessness in Penticton will soon have access to new supportive housing, with the Province and the City of Penticton entering into a partnership to provide up to 52 units of modular housing.
The modular units will provide urgent housing and support services for those who need it most. The units will have 24/7 staffing, administered through a non-profit housing partner, and will include services (see below) to help residents stabilize and rebuild their lives.
Penticton is the eighth B.C. municipality to use the Province’s new modular housing program to begin to address homelessness. Among the participating municipalities are Kelowna, Prince Rupert, Terrace, among Vernon. Prince Rupert is very similar to Sooke in size, with a population of 12,508. In Prince Rupert, the B.C. government allocated approximately $3.6 million for a 44-unit modular-housing project.
More than 1,000 units are now confirmed in communities throughout British Columbia. This drives the program past the halfway mark of the Province’s goal to build 2,000 modular homes over two years in B.C. by working in partnership with interested communities.
“We’ve been working hard to help facilitate many of the non-profits along with the Province to address homelessness and housing affordability,” said Andrew Jakubeit, mayor of Penticton. “We are very thankful for the Province to commit to helping our community. Housing is the main foundation for a person’s physical well-being, mental health, and opportunity to regain dignity and become a productive contributor to a community.”
The B.C. government is working closely with the city to identify a site for the development and is providing approximately $8 million for this modular-housing project.
- The B.C. government is investing $291 million to build 2,000 modular housing units for people who are homeless, and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services for these units.
- Each modular building will provide self-contained units with personal kitchens and washrooms.
- The Province will be working with local governments and community partners to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce homelessness through permanent housing and services.
- More information about the B.C. government’s modular housing program can be found here.
- To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, please visit this website.
Services and supports provided for modular housing
The B.C. government is allocating $170 million over three years to ensure all the new modular housing buildings in the province have 24/7 staffing. Experienced non-profit housing providers will be selected to operate the modular buildings. Tenants will be provided with support based on their assessed need. Examples of services and supports:
- Connecting residents to community supports such as education and employment opportunities and health and wellness services;
- Individual or group support services such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
- Case planning and needs assessment;
- Other supports designed to help residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
- Assistance to access income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a BC Identification Card or establishing a bank account;
- Support for residents to maintain their home such as room de-cluttering, rent payment, and repayment plans; and
- No-cost laundry services, either on-site or off-site.
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- B.C. government invests in new homes for Indigenous peoples in Langford
- Affordable rental homes on the way in Sooke (244 units) and Langford (250 units)
- New affordable homes, child care spaces on the way for people in Langford
- Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the annual allowable rent increase will be 2.5%.
- Letter: Compassion is needed, as many with homes are also one paycheque away from being homeless
- Rapid response to homelessness sees 2,000 modular homes built in BC
- Homelessness in Sooke: It exists
- Members of Affordable Housing Committee appointed
- District seeks membership for the Affordable Housing Committee
- Over 2,000 rental units coming to the CRD, with some attention to affordability
- Breaking ground on new rental homes for people in Colwood
- Victoria: Planned supportive short-term housing for Indigenous women facing homelessness
- 2018 Budget: Housing advocates welcome historic investments in affordable housing
- Housing strategy calls for action to diversify supply, manage demand & prevent homelessness
- Anxiety over housing, homelessness and poverty rises in British Columbia
- Council to consider bylaw amendment in January, allowing mobile homes on residential lots
- More than 1,000 modular homes now confirmed throughout B.C.
- Message from the Mayor: Affordable housing has been addressed for years (media is late to the party), and she wants to hear your ideas
- CTV covers the housing-boom/housing-crisis irony in Sooke
- Housing challenges for Sooke construction workers now; affordability committee can happen in Feb or March 2018
- National Housing Day solicits hope for affordable housing within the next decade
- Council expresses discomfort with the usage of the term, “affordable housing”
- From fires to fentanyl, from homes to homelessness, Horgan’s UBCM keynote covered the gamut
- Second co-housing project in Sooke deemed affordable, good to go
- Throne Speech: Affordability, improved services and economy are top BC priorities
- Victoria housing crisis threatens family unity
- Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness survey
- Ten townhouses coming to Ayre Road
- Regular Council meeting overview June 26