The University of Victoria broke ground today on 800 new on-campus homes for students. The $232.4 million housing project includes $128 million in provincial funding. The new units are expected to be ready for students in time for fall 2022.
With workforce homes in short supply in our region, the addition of on-campus housing will help free up much-needed rental units in the community.
A new five-storey, wood-frame building on Fifth Street will provide 64 affordable homes In Greater Victoria. The project is being built with up to $17.2 in interim construction financing from BC Housing's HousingHub program. Rent will range from $1,000 per month for a studio to $2,500 for the most expensive three-bedroom option. To qualify, renters must have household incomes between $48,000 and $100,000.
“I’m pleased that this project will provide good, affordable homes for working families that are close to their friends, work, vibrant business districts and community amenities,” Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming said in a news release.
Construction is expected to wrap up by spring. The building will include space for the Vancouver Island School of Art on the ground floor.
If you've been thinking about buying an e-bike for commuting or getting around, the provincial government hopes to make your decision a little easier with an updated rebate program.
"E-bikes are a much cheaper alternative to cars and are a safe way to travel," Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena said today in a news release. "We look forward to seeing more people using e-bikes for getting around.”
People can now trade in an old vehicle and get $1,050 toward the purchase of a new e-bike. The rebates, which have increased by $200 this year, are delivered by the Scrap-It program. As well, a one-year pilot program is offering a $1,700 rebate for business owners who purchase a cargo e-bike.
Check out: Greater Victoria e-bike retailers
Farm sales reached record levels in 2019, and the provincial government says the growing sector could point the way to economic recovery.
BC reported $3.9 billion in farm cash receipts last year, with areas of growth including cannabis, dairy, beef and field vegetables.
“COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the importance of our province’s self-sufficiency," said Saanich South MLA and Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham. "I urge everyone to continue to show their appreciation for our farmers and support our local food system by making a special effort to Buy BC.”
The BC Farm, Fish and Food Job Connector was launched in May to help farmers find workers needed for this season's harvest. Last year's record represents on increase of $462 million in revenue from 2018.
To help Island farmers adapt to the changing climate, the provincial and federal governments have identified 11 strategies to increase resilience. With warmer and dryer conditions, new types of insects and more extreme weather events, farmers need to prepare for challenges and opportunities ahead, the report says.
Want to know how you can make your home be part of a climate change solution?
The District of Saanich has launched a step-by-step climate action manual called the Resident’s Climate Action Guidebook. The goal is to teach the public how to make their homes more sustainable in six steps and help the municipality build a climate-friendly future.
In January, Saanich approved a 131-step plan to reduce the risks associated with climate change locally and globally, cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, move to net-zero emissions by 2050 and transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050.
District of Saanich: Member since 2019
The provincial government has reduced licensing costs for taxi and limo operators to help the sector through the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
On June 22, the annual licence renewal fee was reduced for commercial operators who hold a Passenger Directed Vehicle Authorization, which includes taxi and limousine operators. In the past, these licensees paid an annual fee of $100 per vehicle with no overall fee cap. It has been reduced to $50 per vehicle with a licence fee cap of $5,000.