(Image / The Salient Group)

The Canadian government has begun construction on a brand new 6-storey affordable rental building in downtown Victoria.

When completed, the development will feature 60 micro-suite units that range from 285 square feet studio apartments to 358 square feet one-bedroom homes.

While the federal government did not release specific pricing, rent for the suites will be set at 30% below the median income of the city and are intended for workers in the technology and service sectors.

See also: Victoria is building 138 new affordable housing units at two development locations

“Our Government is committed to building more rental housing to give hard-working middle-class Canadians much needed relief in tight rental markets,” said Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in a statement.

The $13.25 million construction project, known as the Sawyer Block, is being constructed atop a current building located at 840 Fort Street.

The building was originally constructed in 1909, but has been vacant since 2005. It was a commercial building for nearly a century, with a family-run business, Sawyer Sewing Machines, occupying the space for 35-years and giving the building its namesake.

The new affordable rental development will use the Sawyer Block’s historic base while adding floors on top to create the 6-storey building.

The building’s 60 units will be divided into 44 studio apartments and 16 junior one-bedroom homes with 10% of the units reserved as accessible, “barrier-free” homes.

See also: Over 1,200 new affordable rental homes planned for Vancouver Island

The Sawyer Block is expected to be ready for occupancy in Fall 2019.

“Soon, the Sawyer Block will provide an affordable home for families and individuals near the heart of downtown Victoria, and that’s an achievement we can all be proud of,” said Vaughan.