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Feds to build new rental housing at Vancouver Island military base

The new units will help meet the demand of service members who need affordable housing

The Canadian Forces Housing Agency is planning to add 84 more residential units to CFB Esquimalt in an effort to help service members find affordable housing and relieve pressure on the local rental market.

According to a statement from the Canadian Armed Forces Housing Agency, members feel the impacts of the housing crisis “acutely” due to the nature of their job.

“Housing affordability and availability are a problem across the country, in light of rising interest rates, a booming Canadian housing market and inflation,” the agency said in the statement. “This presents challenges for all Canadians, including members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) …as they are required to pick up and move more frequently as a result of their service to Canada.”

B.C. Premier David Eby recently spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about this very issue, urging the feds to build more housing on its property to free up units in the community.

Currently, just 15 per cent of service members choose to live in military housing, but the cost of accommodations on the private market is increasing demand for residential housing, the agency said.

“We recognize the challenges faced by CAF members and their dependants and are doing everything we can to help,” the agency said in the statement.

The new units will increase the number of residential housing units in Esquimalt from 709 to 793 and the Canadian Forces Housing Agency said implementation of the construction program will begin as soon as possible in several locations across the country.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said new units would be a welcome addition to the community and help service members feel included.

“The addition of these units will help military members and their families and Esquimalt will welcome them to be part of our amazing community,” Desjardins said.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island military families caught in the housing squeeze


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