Victoria council voted unanimously on Thursday to move forward with a proposal to create temporary tiny home housing at Royal Athletic Park.
The motion for the proposal was brought forward by Mayor Lisa Helps and councillor Jeremy Loveday.
It calls for the construction of up to 30 housing units built by Aryze developments at the Royal Athletic Park parking lot at 940 Caledonia Avenue.
The move is intended to help ease the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis in Victoria.
“We’re in a state of emergency that’s lasted way too long,” said Helps during Thursday’s council meeting. “This is 30 of approximately 200 or so units that will be needed.”
Funding for the units could come through a combination of sources. The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness has undertaken a fundraiser in partnership with Aryze to raise $500,000 that they say could pay for 30 units built from shipping containers.
The motion from Helps and Loveday also calls for support from provincial-federal restart funding, and for operating costs to be provided by BC Housing.
Homes would be provided on a temporary basis for people transitioning out of homelessness. The project would also have a washroom and shower facility.
“This proposal is a significant show of leadership from the community,” said Loveday on Thursday.
“Everyone deserves to have housing. This proposal will allow some people who are taking shelter outside to have dignified transitional housing.”
The proposal sets a target date for occupancy of March 31, 2021, at the latest.
City staff will need to negotiate with BC Housing for a temporary lease of the property, and funding will need to be secured, before the project is fully approved.