The provincial government has extended its lease on the Travelodge in Victoria until December 31, 2021, for use as temporary housing.
People in need of supportive housing have been living at the facility since it opened in May 2020, and the lease had been set to end on March 31, 2021.
The province says no new residents will move into the facility after the end of March, and current residents will transition to other housing options by the end of the year.
The facility opened in May 2020 in response to calls for a solution for campers at Topaz Park and on Pandora Avenue.
94 people are housed at the Travelodge and the government says they are offering them supports such as mental health and addiction services.
A fire at the Capital City Centre Hotel, which was also serving as temporary housing, directly led to the government’s decision to extend the lease, according to the provincial housing ministry.
“Sending Travelodge residents out to join encampments by closing this temporary facility prematurely is simply not an option,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing.
“Instead, our plan is that the residents of the Travelodge will be out of this temporary accommodation by the end of the year and into permanent, supportive units.”
90 units of temporary housing were lost as a result of the fire at the Capital City Centre Hotel.
The province says BC Housing is working with the Travelodge owner to make improvements to the site, including fire safety enhancements, external landscaping and more regular garbage removal.
Victoria Cool Aid Society will continue to operate the housing facility, with staff on-site 24/7.