Several major housing projects were announced for southern Vancouver Island Wednesday morning.
In a press conference, the federal government, alongside the BC Government and the Capital Regional District announced details of new developments in the region, which will create up to 91 new affordable homes in Greater Victoria.
Approximately 52 supportive homes will be built at 2933, 2941, and 2949 Albina Street in Saanich, with construction expected to start this summer.
The other location will be at 1909 Prosser Road in Central Saanich where 39 homes will be developed. Construction is expected to start in the coming month.
An additional announcement by the province
In addition to that announcement, the BC Government, in partnership with the City of Victoria, announced it 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.
The four permanent supportive housing projects will be built at the following properties across the city, which have been bought by the Province through BC Housing:
- 865 Catherine Street – 45 homes: construction is expected to start this summer
- 959 and 953 Balmoral Road – 60 homes: construction is expected to start this winter
- 1053 and 1075 Meares Street – 50 homes: construction is expected to start this summer
- 1176 Yates Street – 37 homes: construction is expected to start this summer
“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 support they need to succeed,” said Eby.
These six projects will deliver more than 280 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the capital region.
Experienced non-profit housing providers will be selected to operate the housing at both locations.
BC Housing will be moving straight to the construction phase with these projects, working closely with municipalities throughout the process.
The Federal Government announced additional funding for their Rapid Housing Initiative earlier this month. Over 4,700 affordable housing units will be built across Canada.
Non-profit housing providers will operate the housing and 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.
“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.
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.
Today, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, said he was seeking additional money in the upcoming federal budget for the Rapid Housing Initiative.
Today’s announcement follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the province and City of Victoria to end encampments in Greater Victoria parks. The MOU formalizes each side’s responsibilities for an April 30th deadline to end 24/7 sheltering in local parks.