(Capital Regional District)

A new housing project is coming to Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood, bringing close to 100 affordable rental homes sprawled out amongst two four-storey buildings.

The BC government says Michigan Square will feature 97 homes for families, seniors and people with low to moderate incomes, replacing three since-demolished buildings that totalled 53 units.

The new complex, located on Michigan Street, includes studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, with 24 units for people with very low incomes to be rented at the provincial shelter rate.

Twenty-two units will be rented geared to income, allowing people with low to moderate incomes to pay 30% of their earnings, while 51 units will be geared to people with moderate incomes and rented at market rates.

“With construction starting on Michigan Square, more families, seniors and individuals in Victoria will have access to quality homes with affordable monthly rents that will help them stay in our community,” said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill.

Echoing Lore, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says housing affordability in the local community is a “top priority” for city council.

“Projects such as the Michigan Street development not only provide accessible housing and create vibrant neighbourhoods, they also highlight the remarkable impact that is possible when agencies work collaboratively on a common goal,” added Helps.

At an October 22nd, 2020 public hearing, a development permit with variance was granted by the city, sending the development into its final design stage.

(Capital Regional District)

Michigan Square residents will be able to utilize a private courtyard with a playground and community garden, as well as an indoor gathering space and bike storage.

The project is receiving $4.5 million in funding through the Regional Housing First Program—a partnership between the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC) and provincial and federal governments.

The province, through BC Housing, is also providing $11.7 million in low-cost financing through the HousingHub and another $4.6 million through Building BC: Community Housing Fund, plus around $187,000 in annual operating funds.

SEE ALSO: New development bringing nearly 100 homes to seniors in Saanich

The Capital Regional District is contributing $1.1 million and the City of Victoria providing $620,000, with the CRHC to own and operate the buildings, according to a press release.

The Michigan Street site also features a heritage house and nine townhouses, but these buildings won’t be redeveloped, and their tenants and the rent they pay will stay the same, the BC government adds.

Construction is expected to wrap up in fall 2023 with residents, including those who lived in the now-demolished buildings, able to move in soon after.

(Capital Regional District)