A new municipal committee aimed at land-use policies will target Sooke’s affordable housing dilemma, says Mayor Maja Tait.
“The [Land-Use and Development committee] is looking at housing needs, what’s coming on the market, and what are the gaps that are left to start focusing on,” Tait said.
A housing needs report commissioned by the District of Sooke last December stated Sooke has a limited supply of affordable and non-market housing compared to what may be appropriate for its population.
Sooke has three organizations offering below-market rental housing, including Sooke Place, M’akola Housing Society, and Knox Vision Society. Those organizations provide nearly 100 units.
But more projects – and homes – are on the horizon.
The Capital Region Housing Corp., a non-profit corporation owned by the Capital Regional District, plans to build two separate complexes in Sooke. One complex at 2075 Drennan St. will contain 170 units and the second project on 2170 Charters Rd. another 75 homes.
Last July, the M’akola Housing Society announced it was converting three commercial units into eight new homes.
Tait said while the projects at Drennan Street and Charters Road are slow in coming, the zoning is in place.
“Everything seems to take longer than I expect,” Tait said, adding part of it is the pandemic slowly down the ability for people to get out into the field.
The Charters Road development, for example, requires new access on Highway 14, and there are several outside agencies included in the process from the provincial Highways Ministry to B.C. Housing.
“It’s waiting for those partners to be able to get their elements together to move forward with the plans,” Tait said.