More safe homes for women and children fleeing violence in Nanaimo


December 7, 2018

NANAIMO – Women and children leaving violence in Nanaimo will soon have more safe places to regroup, recover and begin rebuilding their lives.

The Province and the Snuneymuxw Youth and Family Society have partnered to provide a 10-bed women’s transition house in the Nanaimo area. The Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Mitzi Dean, made the announcement at an event held today as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

“Safe housing offers refuge from violence and a place to rebuild,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Our government’s investment in transitional housing around the province will make a critical difference for many women and their families.  We are thankful to our partners for answering the call to help.”

The new transition housing is part of the first round of projects approved under the government’s new Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, a $734 million investment over 10 years to build 1,500 new units of housing including transition houses, safe homes, second-stage and long-term housing for women and children fleeing and recovering from violence. This first step will see 280 news homes through 12 projects in communities across the province.

“This initiative is based in community and responds to a need identified by community.  Its foundation has been built on partnerships with others who share a commitment to support women and children when they are in the most need.  It is a program that will demonstrate support for women and children from a cultural perspective, one that embraces a connection to community and to the land,” said Chief Michael Wyse of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. “This is a first step. We recognize the importance of also supporting men, extended family and community as all work to reduce violence in community.  We wish to underscore this important point, as Snuneymuxw has always done in so many ways, this program will welcome all women and children who request our support. We would like to thank BC Housing for recognizing the importance of this initiative and for providing the necessary funding for both capital and operating budgets.”

The Snuneymuxw Youth and Family Society will operate the new transition house and provide safe shelter and culturally-sensitive services to women and children who have experienced violence or are at risk of violence.

“We are honoured to stand with our partners today to announce the new transition housing as part of the Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund,” said David Silva, director of asset strategies, Aboriginal Housing Management Association. “AHMA is committed to ensuring affordable housing is both accessible and offers culturally sensitive services that accommodate the diverse needs of Indigenous women and children. This first step of 280 new homes through 12 projects in communities will make a meaningful change in the Province.”

The building is undergoing renovation and is expected to open by March 2019.

In addition to the project in Nanaimo, the Province is making additional investments for women and children on Vancouver Island at the following projects:

  • Port Alberni – Alberni Community and Women’s Services Society will operate up to 20 units of second-stage housing;
  • Langford – Victoria Women’s Transition House Society will operate approximately 20 second-stage housing units.

Quick Facts:

  • The BC Society of Transition Houses has worked with BC Housing on a province-wide needs assessment to help target project funding in communities across the province.
  • Women’s transition houses are staffed 24/7 and provide safe, short-term shelter and supports – typically for 30 days.
  • Safe homes provide safe, short-term shelter and supports – typically for 10 days – for women and children fleeing violence in rural and remote communities.
  • Second-stage housing provides safe short-term housing and supports for women after they leave an abusive relationship or situation. Women can stay for six to 18 months while they prepare for independent living.
  • The Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund was launched in Budget 2018 as part of the Province’s 30-point housing plan. The plan outlines the largest investment in affordable housing in B.C.’s history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.

Learn More:

For a complete list of projects throughout the province, please visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0079-002068

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

Contacts:

Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 952-0617

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917