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Saanich council commits cash to initiate action on improving housing access

Land capacity, purpose-built rental housing and centre, corridor and village plans prioritized
Saanich’s housing strategy is moving forward with the approval of a four-year funding plan, approved unanimously at council’s Jan. 31 meeting. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Saanich council unanimously approved a four-year funding strategy that aims to spur immediate action on improving access to housing in Saanich.

“We’ve talked a lot about the housing strategy over the past year, particularly in August when it came before council and was approved,” Coun. Zac de Vries said in support of the motion at the Jan. 31 council meeting. He added that he looks forward to the launch of priority action items.

Several key priorities were highlighted in a related staff presentation, including the facilitation of a land capacity analysis and further emphasis on the creation of diverse housing in the district’s centre, corridor and village plans.

A monitoring program will be implemented and aims to track progress through annual reports. That monitoring will include responding to new and emerging trends to ensure the strategy remains relevant.

Options to further support and incentivize the development of new purpose-built rental housing aims to address the shortage of rental housing in the community.

“This strategy addresses the missing middle and enables the diversity in housing needed by our community,” Mayor Fred Haynes told Black Press Media.

Providing funding for the strategy builds nicely on the district’s housing needs assessment and work done by the housing task force to address climate change and transit needs, he added.

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