Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday wants more affordable housing to be available to artists. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria councillor calls for more affordable housing options for artists

Coun. Jeremy Loveday wants Victoria to utilize current policies to help local artists

Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday is proposing more measures to be taken by the city to assure affordable housing for artists.

In a proposed motion coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday, Loveday suggests staff consider ways to encourage more affordable housing for artists by utilizing current policies in place, including the inclusionary housing policy and the housing reserve fund.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria calls on artists to help fill empty storefronts

“Like many residents in Victoria, artists are struggling to make ends meet and that includes finding places to live and work,” Loveday said. “I want to make sure there’s a lens of affordable housing for artists which is already applied to other affordable housing developments.”

Loveday pointed to a newly-announced home for the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA) on Fifth Street, which has several affordable housing rental units in the top three floors. Artists at VISA will have the first right of refusal to some of these units.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island School of Art gets new home approved

“It’s not proposing setting funding aside, it’s more look at what levers we have as a city,” Loveday said.

The proposal is directly in line with the City’s Create Victoria Masterplan, which looks at ways to encourage the economic and cultural contributions of artists.

According to the report, there are more than 2,700 full-time workers in the arts and culture community, who contribute $104 million to the city’s GDP.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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