Affordable housing in Greater Victoria gets $60M boost from province, CRD
Recent homeless count found 1,400 people without access to housing in Greater Victoria
The provincial government is contributing $30 million to help ease the affordable housing shortage in B.C.'s Capital Regional District.
The CRD has also agreed to borrow $30 million to help with the issue.
CRD board chair Barb Desjardins says the combined $60 million is enough to get started on a housing first plan for the region's most vulnerable people.
"We know that housing people really helps in addressing many of their other healthcare and other mental health needs," Desjardins said.
Those who work with the homeless say the funding can't come soon enough.
A recent count found that there are 1,400 people in Greater Victoria who don't have access to housing.
"This will really help us," said Grant Mckenzie, a spokesperson for Our Place, a group that helps people transition from the street.
"Once we get people stabilized, and ready for housing, there should be housing for them to go to," he said.
A homeless camp on the lawn of Victoria's courthouse has been in place since last fall, much to the discontent of nearby residents who complain of discarded needles, noise and human waste.
The province recently said it will be installing running water and a flushing toilet for the roughly 100 people living at the tent city.
It's unclear how many affordable units can be built with the combined $60 million dollars, but the province and the CRD say their goal is to reduce the homeless population in the region by 2018.