1176 Yates Street
(1176 Yates Street/Google Maps)

The provincial government announced on Friday that it has purchased a property in Victoria to provide new supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.

The property, located at 1176 Yates St., was purchased by the BC government for a $1.8 million price tag.

It is currently the site of a controversial boarding house which fell into dilapidated condition over the past several years.

At a Victoria Council meeting on February 14, 2019, a motion from Councillor Sarah Potts asked that they declare the building “as being in a condition so dilapidated and unclean that it is offensive to the community and declare it a “nuisance” that requires remedial action to remove.”

In a weekly press briefing on Friday, Mayor Helps said that the province has the power to assert paramountcy as they move forward with construction.

“My understanding is that they will work with the city and the public to make the building suitable for the neighbourhood. They have bought it for supportive housing and that is what we need.”

The province says that the proposed project will provide up to 40 studio-sized homes, with construction expected to begin in December 2021.

Residents will also be provided with 24/7 on-site staff and support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing says that there are approximately 480 new supportive housing units in development or already open in the Capital Regional District (CRD).