Island municipalities tasked with building 6.5K housing units in latest targets

Island municipalities tasked with building 6.5K housing units in latest targets
File photo of a 10-storey building under construction in Esquimalt.

The B.C. government has released its next round of housing targets, and four Island municipalities have been tasked with building 6,483 units.

Central Saanich, Esquimalt, Nanaimo and Sidney were four of the 10 municipalities that had targets announced by the province this week, with a five-year time frame to build the homes.

Central Saanich has been tasked with building 588 units, Esquimalt with 754 and Sidney with 468. Nanaimo has been set the highest goal in this round of Island municipalities with 4,703 units.

Within the full list of 10, Surrey has the largest number of units to build with 27,256 and Sidney has the smallest target.

The B.C. government says the six-month progress update from the first round of housing targets showed a total of 4,000 new homes had received occupancy permits, however, most municipalities were behind schedule for the targets.

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After setting the goals, the province says it will work with the municipalities to help them stay on track to achieve the targets.

This group of municipalities had been announced in April 2024 alongside 10 other municipalities, including four others on the Island, and the province says goals for the remaining 10 will be released this summer.

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Colwood, North Cowichan, North Saanich and View Royal are the four remaining Island communities to receive goals this summer.

Esquimalt already on track

One day after the housing targets were set, Esquimalt announced it was already on track to open 754 housing units “well in advance of the mandated deadline.”

The township says it currently has over 1,000 units under construction, 800 units going through rezoning and another 1,000 going through the development permit process.

Esquimalt says the “vast majority” of those units are multi-family buildings and 80 are affordable.

“Esquimalt is well-positioned for growth,” Ken Armour, acting mayor said in a news release. “Our central location and community amenities make it an attractive place to live and work. Investments to our active transportation facilities, our parks and other infrastructure foster the vibrant community spirit we are known for.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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