SOOKE – More than 40 families and seniors in Sooke are now living in modern, affordable rental homes that are more comfortable and energy efficient.
Building affordable rental housing is part of the Province’s strategy to address housing affordability. Government is curbing speculation in B.C.’s housing market and building 114,000 affordable homes over 10 years around the province.
“The Knox Centre is part of our government’s work to make life more affordable for everyone in B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “For years, too many families and seniors in Sooke and throughout the province have struggled to find safe homes with rents they could afford. Our government is making different choices – choices that put people first.”
Located at 2110 Church Rd. in Sooke, the Knox Centre provides 42 homes, including two one-bedroom accessible units and three one-bedroom adaptable units, for low- to moderate-income individuals, families and seniors. Government provided approximately $5.35 million in capital funding and construction financing for the project.
The Knox Centre project is a partnership between the Province, Knox Presbyterian Church, Knox Vision Society and the District of Sooke. Knox Vision Society is operating the five-storey building. The society was established by Knox Presbyterian Church in 2008 to help the community address the need for affordable housing. The church provided the land for the development, which is valued at approximately $1.3 million.
The building was designed and built to Step 3 of the BC Energy Step Code for residential buildings. This supports the Province’s CleanBC goal of a net-zero, energy-ready Building Code by 2032.
“This decade-long project has been a labour of love by committed parishioners, “said Eleanor Shambrook, chair, Knox Vision Society. “With the help of the Government of B.C., BC Housing, Sooke District Council and many individuals, including the dedicated development and construction teams, our vision has been brought to fruition and 42 Sooke families now enjoy affordable, energy efficient housing.”
The building will also help bring the community together, with a café space for lease on the main floor, as well as a church office and community amenity space.
The District of Sooke waived development cost charges and permit fees for the project totalling approximately $208,000. School District 61 also waived $23,000 in fees.
“We are grateful for every partnership that results in accessible, affordable homes in our community,” said Maja Tait, mayor, District of Sooke. “The designers and builders are applauded for their accomplishment in progressive climate change action implementing the BC Energy Step Code. We are proud to have this positive development in our town core.”
Monthly rental rates range between $875 for a one-bedroom unit and $1,300 for a three-bedroom unit. People began moving into their new homes in early April.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared commitment between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is a part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province is working in partnership to increase the supply of affordable rental housing throughout the Capital Regional District, with more than 1,100 rental homes underway through the Building BC funds. This includes:
- Community Housing Fund: $100 million for more than 900 mixed-income homes;
- Indigenous Housing Fund: $33 million for more than 160 homes for Indigenous peoples;
- Women’s Transition Housing Fund: $7 million for 20 homes for women and children fleeing violence;
- Rapid Response to Homelessness (modular housing): 21 homes for Indigenous women experiencing homelessness.
- Budget 2018 launched the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C.'s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: https://bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
BC Energy Step Code: https://energystepcode.ca/
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing