The B.C. government announced plans that will bring 192 homes with 24/7 support for people dealing with homelessness to Victoria.
The province, in partnership with the City of Victoria, is forging ahead with four new supportive housing projects to provide permanent housing in the region.
“As we work with the city to respond to the homelessness crisis in Victoria, we haven’t lost sight of our shared goal, permanent homes for people without homes,” said David Eby, B.C. minister responsible for housing, in a release. “These new buildings are part of our ongoing work with the City of Victoria and our community partners to make sure people experiencing homelessness will have access to a safe, secure place to live with the supports they need to succeed.”
The plans include 45 homes at 865 Catherine St., with construction expected to begin this summer. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer as well for 50 homes at 1053 and 1075 Meares St., and for 37 homes at 1176 Yates St. Construction is earmarked to start in the winter for 60 homes at 953 and 959 Balmoral Rd.
“Thanks to all of the partners involved in creating this new, purpose-built supportive housing, which is a pathway out of homelessness, and to housing stability and security for some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
The four new projects are in addition to the two supportive housing projects in Saanich and Central Saanich announced recently by the provincial and federal governments, which brings the total to 280 supportive homes for homeless people in the Capital Region.
BC Housing will move straight to the construction phase for these projects while working closely with the municipalities involved throughout the process.
BC Housing will host a series of community engagement sessions with stakeholders, community members, and local businesses in the near future. Visit letstalkhousingbc.ca/capital-region for more information on the engagement process.
Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore said the provincial government is working with all of its partners to provide short-term and long-term supportive housing so no one has to live outdoors.’The announcement today is an important step for our community and to ensure care for those who need it most,” Lore said. “I am grateful for the collaboration with the City of Victoria that has made this possible.”
Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming said the need for supportive housing is clear. “These new homes with 24/7 wrap-around supports will support health and safety and make a real difference.”
The province will continue to work with the City of Victoria on providing immediate housing and shelter solutions for the approximately 220 people currently living in parks throughout the city, and is in the process of working with partners to offer access to supportive housing units and shelter spaces throughout Victoria.