RDN explores housing options

Staff looks into national housing strategy

The Regional District of Nanaimo wants to take advantage of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy.

Chair Bill Veenhof said the regional district, as well as the municipalities, could benefit from the strategy, which aims to make sure Canadians across the country can access housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.

“It appears, if we’re smart, there’s money in the table that we can go after,” said Veenhof at the committe of the whole meeting on May 8.

“If I listen to everybody here, we’re all concerned about affordable housing. So jumping on board the national housing strategy in my mind would be a useful exercise. There is a buck associated with that.”

A motion was made for staff to report back to the board about what it would mean for the regional district to be involved with the strategy.

“That would be a useful thing,” said Veenhof.

The directors unanimously endorsed the motion, including Parksville director Marc Lefebvre, who fully supported it.

“One of the challenges that I have in my small city is we’ve just about used up all the land,” said Lefebvre.

“We don’t have much land that belongs to the city. But we border with different electoral areas fairly close by. I am looking forward to this. If we’re going top have affordable housing for residents in these areas, it’s gonna be important that we have a look at this.”

Canada has 1.7 million families that still don’t have a home that meets their basic needs.

The strategy is intended to help cut chronic homelessness in half over the next 10 years, remove 530,000 families from housing need and invest in the construction of up to 100,000 new affordable homes.

The focus will primarily be on the most vulnerable Canadians, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, indigenous people, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans and young adults.

Send story tips to: michael.briones@pqbnews.com

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