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January 9, 2020, 10:32 am

Capital Regional District Moves Forward with Bylaw Amendments for Regional Housing First Program

Capital Regional District

VICTORIA - The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved a recommendation to move forward with two bylaw amendments in order to extend the Regional Housing First Program (RHFP). The program partners have been in negotiations to extend the program by contributing an additional matching grant of $10 million each for a total equity contribution of $120 million.

The RHFP is an equal partnership agreement between the CRD, the BC government through BC Housing, and the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The program was initiated to create more affordable rental housing and address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the capital region.

The original goal of the RHFP was to invest $90 million to support the development of mixed-market communities in the capital region, including 400 units to be rented at the provincial income assistance shelter rate ($375/month) for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness who are ready to live independently with supports. Implementation of the program is already underway, with over 900 units complete or under construction to date. Due to escalating construction costs, the program is currently on track to deliver over 1,300 units with 300 of those units at the shelter rate by December 31, 2021. With an additional $30 million, the program will be on target to achieve its original goal of 400 units at the shelter rate.

For the CRD to participate in the RHFP extension, it is required to amend Bylaw No. 4326 “Land Assembly, Housing and Land Banking Service Establishment” to remove the limitations to borrowing and Bylaw No. 4327 “Regional Housing First Program Loan Authorization” to authorize the borrowing of an additional $10 million dollars. Adoption of both bylaws is required in order to receive $10 million in matching funds from BC Housing. BC Housing and the CRD continue to work with CMHC to leverage a matching grant to bring the total to $120 million.

In order to amend the establishing bylaw and the loan authorization bylaws, elector consent is required from 2/3rds of participants which include all 13 municipalities and 3 electoral areas of the CRD. Elector assent in the region’s 13 municipalities will be obtained via municipal council consent. Elector assent in the Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island, and Southern Gulf Islands electoral areas will be obtained via Alternative Approval Process (AAP). Elector response forms in relation to Bylaw No. 4326 and 4327 must be received by 4:00pm on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 to be counted.

For more information on the AAP, please visit www.crd.bc.ca/housingfirstaap

Attachment: Regional Housing First Program FAQs (PDF)

Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
 
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492

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