The province has announced they are in the early stages of a new study into the feasibility and planning of redeveloping a large affordable housing complex in Victoria.
Evergreen Terrace, formerly called Blanshard Court, is located at 2501 Blanshard Street and is owned and operated by BC Housing.
The complex has provided low-incoming housing for seniors and families for more than 50 years.
According to BC Housing, Evergreen Terrace is in need of substantial renovations on its aging units and they, along with the province, are working to determine how it can potentially re-develop the complex with the least amount of impact on current tenants.
The two-year study will determine how to best replace these homes and whether the site can accommodate additional affordable housing.
“The aging homes at Evergreen Terrace have given 175 families affordable homes in Victoria for decades. This study will help us make sure these, and hopefully even more families have access to high-quality housing on this site,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing.
“Redeveloping aging rental properties into modern, affordable homes for a range of incomes while ensuring existing tenants are protected leaves everyone better off and supports the health of the whole community.”
In 2020, a 21-unit temporary, culturally supporting housing building for Indigenous women was also added after a fire completely destroyed a former housing complex in that location.
“Spaken House, meaning ‘house of flowers,’ has been in operation for just over one year, and to date we have seen positive strides related to the health and well-being of the family members. Spaken House provides a safe space for Indigenous women to create a sense of place, community and family,” said Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, director of housing development and research, Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society.
“Priority is given to those fleeing violence and experiencing gender-based violence with programming focused on health and wellness. The Aboriginal coalition is pleased with the continued progress being made and welcomes the opportunity to be part of the visioning and planning for Evergreen Terrace over the coming years, with hopes to increase our ability to provide more housing and services in a permanent, purpose-built Spaken House residential building.
The study into the redevelopment of Evergreen Terrace is in the early stages.
Tenants and community partners, as well as Spaken House residents and staff, have received project information packages and will have the opportunity to provide input and ideas to shape development plans for the property.
Tenants will not need to temporarily relocate at this time and they are not at risk of losing their homes because of this redevelopment plan.
Upon completion of the study, a rezoning application will be submitted to the City of Victoria. Once approved, tenants will be supported to stay in their homes until the new homes are complete.
Existing residents of Evergreen Terrace will be given the opportunity to choose new units with no changes to their monthly rent unless their income has changed.
The province, through BC Housing, plans to invest $467,000 to the redevelopment of the property.