11:05 AM

New affordable rental homes open for Indigenous people in Sooke

SOOKE − Indigenous families, elders and people in Sooke now have access to 75 below-market homes, with the opening of a new purpose-built rental building at 2170 Charters Rd.

“With this opening, we’re providing peace of mind and hope for families and people who need a little extra help to make ends meet,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “These new homes will not only provide safe places for them to live in, but also enable them to participate fully in the community without having to worry about very high rents.”

The new four-storey apartment building has a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes. Thirteen units are rented at the provincial shelter rate for people with very low incomes. The building is also pet-friendly, allowing cats and small dogs.

This project is the result of a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, the federal government, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Capital Regional District, and M’akola Housing Society.

“Through the National Housing Strategy, we are investing in affordable housing across the country, including right here in Sooke,” said Sean Fraser, federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “I am proud that we supported these 75 new homes, which mark a new chapter for those who will live in them. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home and we are committed to making that a reality for all Canadians.”

M’akola Housing Society will operate the building and will prioritize Indigenous individuals, seniors and families for the homes. Non-Indigenous residents are also welcome. People started moving into their new homes in October 2023.

“These affordable homes are a tremendous help to people who are already struggling to get by,” said Ravi Parmar, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “Affordable Indigenous housing is needed all over the province. We are grateful to partners involved for bringing these homes to Sooke, so people can stay in the community they call home.”

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes delivered or underway, including 278 homes in Sooke.


Jonathan Wilkinson, federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“The Government of Canada is pleased to have supported this important development in Sooke. We are committed to making communities stronger through projects such as these here

in British Columbia and across Canada. Not only do these investments help create new jobs and stimulate the local economy, they also help to provide access to secure and affordable homes for community members. This collaborative effort is helping to ensure that more individuals have a place they can call home.

Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association —

“AHMA celebrates our member, M’akola, for its tireless efforts to collaboratively provide safe, affordable, culturally supported Indigenous housing. Housing is a central social determinant of health and wellbeing so there is no better investment that can be made in social equity.

Indigenous people are 13 times more likely than non-Indigenous people to experience homelessness and that is not acceptable.”

Kevin Albers, CEO, M'akola Housing Society –

“The availability of Indigenous affordable housing is crucial for the well-being of families and communities. It provides a sense of security and stability, which is essential for people and communities to thrive. The Charters Road project is a testament to the power of the partnerships and collaboration between BC Housing, the Capital Regional District, the District of Sooke, M’akola Housing Society and M’akola Development Services.”

Maja Tait, mayor, Sooke –

“Today, we’re recognizing a major milestone in bringing much-needed below-market housing to our community. I want to thank the provincial government and M’akola Housing Society for their funding and support − responding to the needs of Sooke. Along with the housing project, the supporting infrastructure contributions being made through this project are helping us add a critical pedestrian corridor, impacting not only the residents living at 2170 Charters Road, but so many more in our community.”

Colin Plant, chair, Capital Regional District board −

“The Charters development was, in part, made possible through a grant from the Regional Housing Trust Fund (RHTF) to go toward the development of affordable housing units in the region. It’s also a demonstration of the successful application of the RHTF partnership between local, provincial and federal governments, the kind of collaboration we need in order to build more buildings like Charters to address our ongoing housing crisis.”

Learn More:

To learn about B.C.’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

For the most requested Government of Canada housing information, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/finance/manage/housing.html

To find out about the National Housing Strategy, visit: http://www.placetocallhome.ca/

For information about Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, visit: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/

A backgrounder follows.