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Sidney to Gain Attainable Workforce Housing

workforce housing, affordable

At its March 14th meeting, Sidney Council approved the Greater Victoria Rental Development Society’s application to construct an attainable workforce housing development in downtown Sidney. The five-storey, mixed-use building will consist of approximately 930 square metres of ground floor commercial space, underground parking, and 56 rental dwellings which will vary in size, from studios to small one and two bedroom units.

Mayor Steve Price stated, “Sidney Council has been hearing for a long time now that there is a real need and demand for affordable, workforce housing in Sidney. We know that approximately 74% of the workforce in West Sidney commute from other communities in the Greater Victoria Area where housing is less expensive. This development will provide an affordable option in Sidney to those workers and others. It will also bring more people into the shops and local businesses in the downtown core.”

The development will be located in the heart of downtown Sidney, on the west side of Fourth Street, north of Beacon Avenue, making it easily accessible to shopping, transit and other amenities. Rent levels will range from approximately $800 to $920 per month, and will be controlled via a Housing Agreement registered on the property’s title to ensure affordability for low to middle-income working people and families. The Town of Sidney will also contribute to making the units affordable through Council waiving development fees related to the project, and providing a ten-year tax exemption on the residential portion of the development.

The project proponent, the Greater Victoria Rental Development Society (GVRDS), is a registered non-profit society incorporated in 2009. GVRDS has a proven track record; they have successfully completed and now manage two developments in Victoria, with a third in the works. Their mandate is to provide well built, well managed, non-subsidized, new apartment units for lower to middle income families with a vision that by providing reasonable rent, home ownership can eventually be achieved.

Full details of the development proposal can be viewed on the Town of Sidney’s website.