Sooke launches housing needs assessment

Sooke launches housing needs assessment

Council plans $10,000 study

Sooke politicians want to find out what they can do to make housing more affordable.

District council has agreed to spend $10,000 to create an affordable housing needs assessment.

Last spring, the province ordered local governments to conduct housing needs assessments to support planning for affordability. The assessments will incorporate data on current and projected population, income, housing stock, and housing needs.

Once provincial legislation passes, assessments will be required every five years. Municipalities must complete the first assessment over the next three years, with the province promising $5 million in funding to complete the task.

The lack of affordable housing across Greater Victoria is a big issue, but even more so in both Sooke and Langford, which are among the fastest growing communities in Canada. In Sooke, 28 per cent of renter households spend more than 50 per cent of their income on shelter, according to Statistics Canada.

“The timing on this is critical,” said Coun. Rick Kasper. “This is an important step forward.”

Coun. Ebony Logins, chair of the district’s affordable housing committee, said her group wants to get a head start on the assessment, and be ready when the province announces funding opportunities.

“Other communities have already got a jump on this,” she said.

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