Pacifica Housing, the City of Victoria and the Greater Victoria School District (#61) are partnering to deliver 88-units of affordable purpose-built rental housing on vacant land at the former Burnside Elementary School campus along Jutland Road.
Housing units will be geared towards moderate-income families with suites comprised of two and three-bedroom layouts. The anticipated form and style of the project has not yet been made available.
As part of the trio's development agreement, the City of Victoria will lease excess lands to the north of the school to Pacifica Housing for a period of 60-years at "nominal rates initially," according to a release from the City of Victoria. Pacifica Housing will then be expected to pursue a formal development application process and secure funding.
“Pacifica is excited to be enhancing the Burnside Gorge Community, with affordable market housing for families, child care facilities and renewed public space," said Dean Fortin, Pacifica Housing's Executive Director. "We listened to what the residents wanted in the local area plan process, and are pleased to deliver on their aspirations for their neighbourhood."
The school district will be in charge of seismically upgrading and refurbishing the century-old school and will operate the facility as both a neighbourhood space and as a replacement for educational services currently offered at S.J. Willis Education Centre on Tolmie Avenue at Blanshard Street.
In a prepared statement, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the "unprecedented three-way collaboration will provide benefits including much needed family housing and childcare spaces as well as community development opportunities." The mayor also said the initiative supports the 2016-2025 Victoria Housing Strategy.
Edith Loring-Kuhanga, the school district's board chair, says the project will provide an opportunity to "create a neighbourhood hub with amenities for families, young children and learners [and] is the first step to building a healthy, sustainable and prosperous community."
The province's Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, calls the agreement “excellent news for the Burnside Gorge community" and says his government is committed to "investing in new affordable housing projects like this.” C
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