New recruits at CFB Esquimalt struggle to find housing after completing training.

Housing prices around the area are forcing some junior members of CFB Esquimalt to stay in training quarters for months after training is completed.

Capt. J. Jeffrey Hutchinson, base commander, said several new recruits have approached higher up in the chain of command over the past year asking for help finding housing.

“The current demand for military rental housing at CFB Esquimalt is higher than at any time in recent memory and is a clear sign that members are having difficulty finding housing in the current economy,” he said in an email. “

Junior members are accommodated in single quarters on base during training and are generally expected to live in the local area upon completion of their training.

Rooms on base are typically one or two rooms with shared bathrooms and large shared dining areas, similar to university housing, Hutchinson said. Those beds are not intended to be used as permanent housing, but the base has had to house some members in these rooms on a short-term basis (usually less than six months) while they find more permanent housing. are struggling.

The base has 1,682 single quarter beds, most of which are normally used for trainees. While capacity is not an issue at this point, Hutchinson said allowing members to stay after training is a short-term solution “since in the long term those quarters should be prioritized for training and operational needs.”

“That’s one of the things that I’m constantly aware of, constantly concerned about, just making sure that there’s a safe place for sailors to be. Every time we hear about or hear of a case. has been or a member has submitted that they are experiencing difficulties, we have taken immediate steps to try to rectify the situation.

He added that the Canadian Forces Housing Agency is considering launching a national housing program that will increase housing offerings for members, including in Victoria.

A recent analysis of the most expensive rental markets in Canada found that Greater Victoria was the fourth most expensive in the country, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the region at $1,880 in June, up 2.2 per cent from May. is more The median rent for a two-bedroom was $2,350, down six percent from May.

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