›› Grace Lore, MLA

Almost every time I speak with people in our neighbourhood, the issue of housing affordability comes up. The dream of home ownership slips further out of reach every day, and many people fear rising rental costs will displace them from our ­neighbourhoods where we live, work, and have built our communities. That includes right here in Fernwood.

After years of historic under-investment, work to support families and ­communities in BC is needed across the housing ­spectrum. Three years ago, our ­government made the single largest investment in ­housing in B.C.’s history through our “Homes for BC” Plan. Since then, more than 26,000 homes have been built or are currently in progress. Addressing ­housing insecurity and unaffordability is a top ­priority for me and our government. This means another $2 ­billion towards the HousingHub—recently announced—which will provide more low-interest loans to developers to build affordable homes for middle-income families. Just last month, construction finished on Johnson Street for 135 units of affordable housing for middle income families in Victoria.

In our city, the housing crisis has left more and more people behind, ­evident in the number of people camping in ­community parks. Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep inside. That’s why we added short-term shelter spaces in Vic West and downtown, and a unique collaboration also resulted in 30 tiny homes in North Park, featuring a beautiful public art piece by local artists Lydia Beauregard, Kay Gallivan, and Caitlin McDonagh. In the medium term, we’ll see 190 units of ­supportive housing at four sites across ­Victoria.

After many years of neglect, the ­challenges before us remain large and the housing crisis facing our city cannot be solved overnight. But our communities and our neighbours need us to keep investing in solutions across the housing spectrum. I want to hear from you as we tackle the crisis and work to support those facing housing insecurity and homelessness; you can connect with my office at Grace.Lore.MLA@leg.bc.ca, or call 250-952-4211.