Homeless activist Crissy Brett and a group of supporters spent weeks camping around the Cowichan Valley to highlight the plight of the homeless in 2017 before being arrested in Duncan’s Charles Hoey Park. (File photo)

CVRD to receive $150,000 from province for housing-needs report

Report will identify housing needs in the community

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will receive $150,000 from the province to help collect and analyze data on the district’s housing needs.

The data will be used in the development of a housing needs report that will identify the community’s housing requirements, such as affordable housing, rental housing, seniors’ housing, as well as housing for people at risk of homelessness, families and people with special needs.

The report will also help the CVRD support local economic growth by assessing future employment-housing needs.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN LEADERS CALL ON PROVINCE TO HELP WITH HOMELESSNESS, ADDICTION

“Building on the establishment of our own affordable housing service, this grant will allow us to strengthen our community planning and our engagement with the development community,” said Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD.

“We appreciate this support to help ensure our investments are creating the right housing mix to serve our diverse and rapidly growing region.”

In all, the province has earmarked $1.7 million this year to help a number of communities across B.C. develop housing needs reports.

The project began in 2018 when the province announced a $5 million investment over three years (2019-21) to help local governments collect and analyze data about their communities.

The data will be combined with provincial data about household income and demographics to complete a housing needs report.

The reports will help inform council decisions about development proposals and help determine what kind of housing is needed in neighbourhoods.

Thirty-one applications were approved for this year’s funding allocation.

The fund is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

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“Housing needs reports are a way to gather important information as we partner with local governments to create the right housing for people in communities of all sizes around the province,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“The wave of enthusiasm and interest in applying for this grant tells us that local governments are eager to collect this information to help them build vibrant, thriving communities.”

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