A proposal to bolster CFB Esquimalt with more housing is gaining steam a day after B.C.’s premier discussed the idea with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Premier Eby said he talked to the Prime Minister Wednesday about “opportunities that we’ve seen in relation to, for example, military housing” at the base.
According to Eby, “there was a receptive audience” and he indicated he was optimistic about a deal getting done.
“There is nothing but opportunity I would say on sites like this,” said Kaeley Wiseman of Wiser Projects. Her company works with non-profits to get housing projects built, and she sees the land at CFB Esquimalt as a way to address the significant housing shortage on the base.
“This is a great example of a potential workforce infill project. A site where there is traditional housing around it. And we could infill it with garden suites, townhouses, duplexes, multi-family,” she said.
Esquimalt’s mayor, Barb Desjardins, said she supports the idea of housing density on the land at CFB Esquimalt.
“The land at Work Point there is significant land that could be infilled. You could have significant density for housing,” she said.
She explained that more base housing would reduce the pressure on other communities where military personnel currently live, and that there could be trouble in the event of an emergency if military personnel are living off the base.
And Wiser says the building on the base is the right idea at the right time.
“We’ve been advocating for this for years. Those of us in the non-profit attainable housing world. This has been nothing but an opportunity that is proximal to services and amenities,” Wiser said.
At this point, there is no timeline as to when further discussions about the plan might continue, but the proposal is gaining traction as a solution to the housing crisis in the area.