VICTORIA - The Province, in partnership with the City of Victoria, is moving forward with four new supportive housing projects that will deliver up to 192 permanent homes with 24/7 support for people experiencing homelessness.
"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, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "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. When vulnerable people have good housing, they can access health care, addiction and mental health treatment, and skills training to help rebuild their lives. Housing people results in safer communities for everyone."
The four permanent supportive housing projects will be built at the following properties in the city, which have been bought by the Province through BC Housing (number of homes are approximate):
- 865 Catherine St., 45 homes: construction is expected to start in summer 2021.
- 959 and 953 Balmoral Rd., 60 homes: construction is expected to start in winter 2021.
- 1053 and 1075 Meares St., 50 homes: construction is expected to start in summer 2021.
- 1176 Yates St., 37 homes: construction is expected to start in summer 2021.
"We are grateful that the Province continues to show their commitment to housing solutions in our city and our region," said Lisa Helps, mayor, City of Victoria. "Thanks to all of the partners involved in creating this new, purpose-built supportive housing, which is the pathway out of homelessness, and to housing stability and security for some of the most vulnerable people in our community."
These four projects are in addition to the two supportive housing projects in Central Saanich and Saanich that were announced by the federal and provincial governments, and the Capital Regional District. These six projects will deliver more than 280 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the capital region.
To get these homes built as soon as possible, BC Housing will be moving straight to the construction phase with these projects, working closely with municipalities throughout the process.
Experienced non-profit housing providers will be selected to operate the housing. They will provide 24/7 support, including daily meals, access to life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental health resources, and access to addiction recovery services through Island Health.
BC Housing will host a series of community engagement sessions with stakeholders, community members and local businesses in the near future. Engagement details will be shared on BC Housing's Let's Talk Housing page: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/capital-region
Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill -
"Our government is working with all our partners to provide short-term and long-term supportive housing so that no one is forced to live outdoors. The announcement today is an important step for our community and to ensure care for those who need it most. I am grateful for the collaboration with the City of Victoria that has made this possible. "
Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake -
"The need for new supportive housing in Victoria is clear. These new homes with 24/7 wraparound supports will support health and safety and make a real difference for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and for our entire community."
- The Province will fund each of these projects through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund. Funding amounts will be available once budgets are finalized.
- In addition to these new permanent homes, the Province continues to work with the City of Victoria on immediate shelter and housing solutions for approximately 220 people living in parks throughout the city.
- The Province and partners are in the process of offering all people the opportunity to access supportive housing units and shelter spaces throughout the city.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing
City of Victoria
Services, supports provided for supportive housing
All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing.
The Province is providing annual operating funding to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced staff provide support to tenants based on their assessed needs.
Services and supports provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, include:
- both on-site supports and connection to additional specialized supports in their community;
- supports that are tailored to the needs of the residents, including education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction treatment programs;
- individual or group support services, such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
- case planning and needs assessment;
- other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
- help accessing income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
- support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
- no-cost laundry services, either on or off site.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing