District eyes housing symposium

Council to look at wide spectrum of housing in municipality: mayor

The District of Sooke will host a forum this fall to look at the “full spectrum” of housing in the municipality, says Mayor Maja Tait.

The forum was announced at Monday’s council meeting after a presentation by Margarita Dominguez, president of the Victoria Pet Food Bank and Feral Cat Rehabilitation Society.

Dominguez’s group is calling on council to create an action plan and apply for recently announced federal, provincial and Capital Regional District grants.

“We would like you to create a committee and a task force for the community to get involved in the planning of a soup kitchen, a micro-housing project for the hard-to-house citizens and a temporary emergency shelter,” Dominguez said.

Greater Victoria’s average apartment vacancy rate dropped to 0.6 per cent in October, down from 1.5 per cent in October 2014, according to the latest figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The national average is 3.3 per cent.

There were 50,836 rental units of all types in the capital region, but renters and housing advocates say it isn’t enough.

“[Housing] is something that is on council’s mind,” Tait said.

“We want to look at all variety of housing and then have information brought forward so council can take a look at what we do for all levels of the housing spectrum that is in the works right now.”

OUR VIEW: Sooke needs more affordable housing.