Sunday, May 19, 2024
May 19, 2024

CRD adopts bylaw to increase borrowing authority for housing


The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved a bylaw that will increase the borrowing authority through the Land Assembly, Housing and Land Banking service to $85 million. The bylaw was adopted after receiving elector assent through a regional Alternative Approval Process (AAP).

“I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who showed interest in the AAP. This approach has allowed us to secure approval from electors in a more cost-effective manner compared to a referendum, while still offering individual residents the option to formally register opposition directly with the CRD,” said  Colin Plant, CRD Board chair. “With the successful completion of the AAP, we are pleased to be able to adopt this bylaw, which is part of the CRD’s commitment to increase the supply of affordable, inclusive and adequate housing in the region.”

The CRD and the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) are advancing initiatives to address increased housing needs that will have the most benefit for the region. These initiatives include:

Continuing to review redevelopment opportunities of existing CRHC buildings to increase density.

• An Acquisition Strategy, which aims to increase and/or preserve the supply of affordable rental housing within the urban areas of the region.

• A Rural Housing Program, which aims to increase, preserve, and broaden the supply of affordable housing in rural and remote communities.

•A Complex Care Housing initiative, which aims to increase the supply of housing with supports for people with complex needs and support complementary to the provincial Complex-Care Housing service.

The increase in borrowing capacity and these initiatives will position the CRD to lead and respond quickly to partnership opportunities. The CRD will not incur any debt until funding is approved for a specific project or through an annual planning approval process.

“The housing crisis is real for residents of the region, which is why the CRD has identified housing affordability as one of its top strategic priorities,” said Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) Chair Zac de Vries. “Increasing our borrowing capacity in this manner signals our capacity to invest into potential partnerships, demonstrates an enhanced commitment to addressing housing need, and will provide staff the ability to pursue prospective partners with the opportunity to leverage and layer funds to achieve a greater impact than would otherwise be possible.”

The CRHC is the largest non-profit housing provider on Vancouver Island, providing homes for more than 4,000 residents through over 2,000 housing units across 52 buildings. The CRHC continues to pursue opportunities to help meet our community’s current and future housing needs, offering units that range from shelter-rate housing to below-market affordable housing units.

The ability of the CRD to demonstrate a willingness to invest into prospective partnerships will significantly advance exploratory discussions.

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