VICTORIA, Aug. 20, 2019 /CNW/ - A new 60-unit affordable rental development is underway near downtown Victoria, with rents below 30% of median household income in the area. The innovative project is comprised of micro-suites, geared towards workers in the technology and service sectors, with units ranging in size from 285 square feet for studio apartments to 358 square feet for one-bedroom homes.
Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced a $13.25 million commitment for construction of the 6-storey building.
The project is receiving funding through the Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program delivered by CMHC that supports affordable rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families struggling in expensive housing markets across the country.
Developed by The Salient Group, The Sawyer Block is one of the first projects in Victoria to receive affordable construction and project financing support under the RCFi. This innovative project offers micro-suites, adding much needed rental supply in the heart of Victoria's Fort Street technology corridor and adjacent commercial core.
"Our Government is committed to building more rental housing to give hard-working middle-class Canadians much needed relief in tight rental markets. The Rental Construction Financing initiative is a pillar of our National Housing Strategy, and every month we're seeing more and more projects come online because of it. 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." —Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"The Sawyer Block is a purpose-built rental housing project that is intended to provide attainable and secure workforce housing for the growing region. We are incredibly grateful to CMHC for this innovative funding that will help us realize this project and to the City of Victoria for their support." — Robert Fung, President, Salient Group
The project consists of a 6-storey mixed-use building that features 60 purpose-built residential units, with 44 studio and 16 junior one-bedroom homes. The tenure of rental is secured in perpetuity.
The project includes accessible homes, with 10% of the units designed as accessible, barrier-free homes.
The project is designed to achieve energy-efficiency savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 15%, relative to the 2015 model building codes.
Launched in April 2017, the RCFi has generated a lot of interest and a high number of quality applications. This is why, through Budget 2018, the Government increased the amount for low-cost loans provided by this initiative from $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion and further increased to $13.75 billion with budget 2019. In total, the RCFi will encourage the construction of 42,500 new rental housing units across Canada.
Low-cost loans are available to borrowers who want to build affordable rental housing in Canada in response to demonstrated community need.
The rental market is an important housing option for approximately 30% of Canadians.
Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC's aim is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
For more information about the Rental Construction Financing initiative or to apply, please visit www.cmhc-nhs.ca.
For further information: Valérie Glazer, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 613-220-1841, [email protected]; Leonard Catling, CMHC, 604-787-1787, [email protected]