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$68 million in affordable housing earmarked for Sooke on Victoria's Westshore

An aerial view of Sooke's town centre, looking southwest. Marked in blue are parcels acquired by BC Housing for the purposes of constructing nearly 250-units of affordable rental apartments in four buildings.  Google/Citified.ca

$68 million in affordable housing earmarked for Sooke on Victoria's Westshore
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
244-units of affordable rentals will start construction in the Westshore suburb of Sooke this year as part of the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Regional Housing First Program, Citified has learned.
 
Working with the CRD, BC Housing has acquired multiple parcels in Sooke’s town centre for the purposes of building four rental complexes slated for occupancy between 2021 and 2022.
 
Three lowrise residences totalling 169 homes will be constructed along the 6400-block of Sooke Road at Drennan Street on a combined 3.5-hectares of land across two properties (6418 Sooke Road and 2075 Drennan Street). The development will be comprised of 17 accessible homes and 34 provincially-assisted homes, while 52 suites will be rented at below-market rates and 83 at near-market rates.
 
Completion of the two-phased project is earmarked for late 2021 or early 2022.
 
A stone’s throw from Drennan Street at the intersection of Throup Road and Charters Road, a 1.5-hectare site at 6519 Throup Road has been acquired for a 75-unit lowrise rental complex comprised of eight accessible units, 15 provincially-assisted units and 60 affordable suites, 36 of which will be priced at near-market rates. Completion is planned for late 2020 or early 2021.
 
The total budget for both projects is $68,340,000, or $280,082 per residence, with just over $11 million contributed by the CRD. An agency or agencies tasked with managing the rentals have not been selected, and final building designs have yet to be publicly unveiled.
 
Both sites will target individuals, families and people experiencing homelessness with a mix of suite sizes and accessibility options.
 
The provincial government’s efforts through BC Housing to rapidly increase the availability of affordable rental homes in the Capital Region have yielded multiple property acquisitions since 2015 that include hotel conversions into apartments or low-barrier housing facilities (including the Super 8 Hotel on Douglas Street), the purchase of newly completed market-priced rental buildings re-positioned as affordable housing, and real-estate development efforts such as the Sooke projects.
 
BC Housing’s and the CRD’s plans under the Regional Housing First Program are expected to yield 494-units of affordable housing in Sooke and Langford across four projects, 250 of which will rise in Langford with occupancy slated for 2021. An additional 132-units were recently completed along Millstream Road at Treanor Road in Langford, and 72 are earmarked for Victoria at 210 Gorge Road East. Completion of that project is planned for 2020 or 2021, pending municipal approvals.
 
The upcoming Sooke buildings are in addition to the Knox Centre, a 42-unit affordable housing project nearing completion on Church Road at Wadams Way, and a recently completed mixed-use affordable rental and retail complex along the 6700-block of Sooke Road. C
 
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