Feds consider turning some CFB Esquimalt land into housing

CFB Esquimalt Lands are one of nine communities identified in the federal government's 2024 budget where land on a Canadian Forces base could be redeveloped for housing.

In the federal government’s 2024 budget announcements on Tuesday, Ottawa said it was looking into redeveloping Department of National Defence lands to build more affordable housing across Canada, and that includes at CFB Esquimalt.

The federal government is looking at redeveloping 14 properties on National Defence lands across the country that could be used for military or civilian use, as well as building and renovating housing for Canadian Armed Forces personnel on bases.

Esquimalt was one of nine communities identified in the federal government’s 2024 budget where land on a Canadian Forces base could be redeveloped for housing, and the federal government says more may be identified in the future.

The project could see up to 1,400 new homes built on the nine properties, as well as renovations to 2,500 existing units for Canadian Armed Forces members living on base.

“Building more on-base housing will not only help meet the housing needs of military personnel but also help address housing demand in surrounding communities, since fewer military personnel will require rentals in these areas,” reads the budget.

SEE ALSO: New 84-unit apartment complex planned for CFB Esquimalt

Local developers and the B.C. government say the idea makes sense.

Kaeley Wiseman, the principal at local developer Wiser Projects, says there’s untapped potential for the oceanfront property on CFB Esquimalt land.

“There’s a huge opportunity for growth in that municipality on that piece of land, both for workforce housing as well as larger community housing,” said Wiseman.

“And I think a lot of us would include non-market housing, and there would maybe be an expectation that’s part of any project the federal government examines, that it would have a significant non-market component.”

Meanwhile, B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says CFB Esquimalt land is on the province’s radar.

“That is property – a site that we’ll certainly be raising the next time we see the federal government ministers because we think it’s a natural [fit] and it makes sense,” he said.

With files from CHEK News’ Adam Chan.


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