Out with the old, in with the new.

Construction is underway to replace the former four story 77-unit Esquimalt Lions Lodge on Fleming Street in Esquimalt with 137-unit affordable rental homes.

The project was first announced in 2018.

In a media release, the Government of Canada said the new six storeys high building will have a mix of unit sizes, including five three-bedroom and six four-bedroom units.

Rent for 68 of the homes will be based on the tenant’s income and set at 30% of their gross income, with 28 units seeing rents start at $375 for a studio and $715 for a four-bedroom.

Tenants of the former building, who were low income seniors, were relocated to a new seniors complex built in the adjacent parking lot.

The Greater Victoria Housing Society described the former building was “well past its effective life” with only one elevator servicing all tenants.

Today, Canada’s Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen was joined by other government officials, announced nearly $22 million in funding for the project.

“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home… this project will play a vital role in providing housing options for those in need in the community,” said Hussen.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins was also in attendance at today’s announcement and said new housing is needed now more than ever, especially with the lack of locally available three- and four-bedroom units.

The federal government is contributing $6.4 million to the project while the province, through BC Housing, is providing a grant of approximately $14.5 million.

Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2024.

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