The Capital Regional District (CRD) board is seeking electoral approval for its plan to borrow $85 million to improve affordable housing in the region.
If approved through an Alternative Approval Process, the money borrowed will be used to improve affordable, inclusive, and adequate housing across the region and will be repaid over a maximum of 30 years.
The CRD board approved the bylaw to authorize borrowing the $85 million on Sept. 13, and now the final decision is in the electors’ hands.
The B.C. government requires local governments to receive approval from electors before moving ahead with decisions that may have a significant impact on the community over a long-term, including long-term borrowing.
The CRD may move ahead with borrowing the money unless at least 10 per cent of eligible electors, which results to 33,191 in the CRD, sign an elector response form by noon on Feb. 5. If that many people respond, then the issue will be put forward in a referendum.
The Alternative Approval Process opportunity applies to all municipalities and electoral areas of the CRD, including Central Saanich, Colwood, Esquimalt, Highlands, Langford, Metchosin, North Saanich, Oak Bay, Saanich, Sidney, Sooke, Victoria, View Royal and the Electoral Areas of Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island, and Southern Gulf Islands.
Elector response forms can be found online or at the CRD Headquarters at 625 Fisgard St., Victoria from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Resident electors and non-resident property electors can submit the forms. Resident electors are people 18 years older on the date of form submission, a Canadian citizen who has resided in B.C. for at least six months and currently lives in the CRD. Non-resident property electors are people who are 18 years or older on the date of form submission, a Canadian citizen who have lived in B.C. for six months and has owned or held a registered property in the CRD for 30 days and does not qualify as a resident elector. Only one non-resident property elector per household can submit.