Proposed new tax for Cowichan Valley in bylaw to address affordable housing

Proposed new tax for Cowichan Valley in bylaw to address affordable housing

File photo.

File photo.

Establishing a new tax is part of a proposed bylaw introduced by the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) to address affordable housing in the area.

The bylaw would provide funding to the Cowichan Housing Association (CHA) to help with costs related to securing affordable housing opportunities.

The district says the tax would generate $765,000 per year through annual property value assessments of $4.58 per $100,000.

The district says it will be managed by the CHA to attract funding to build affordable housing from the federal and provincial governments.

The bylaw would assist the CHA with costs for programs and services related to affordable housing and homelessness prevention in the region.

“Accessing affordable housing is important for so many reasons – a lack of housing has implications for the health, social and economic well-being of our communities,” Board Chair Jon Lefebure said.

“In our region, rising housing costs are far exceeding increases in people’s incomes. This means that many working people are having trouble finding housing that they can afford,” CHA Chair Chris Hall said.

“This affects professionals new to the area, as well as low wage workers, young families trying to enter the housing market, seniors on fixed incomes, and many others.”

The CVRD says it will seek community input on the proposed bylaw in the coming weeks and information will be provided through open houses, on social media, newspaper ads and the community consultation platform PlaceSpeak.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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