Monday, April 15, 2024

Province bringing 100 complex-care housing spaces to Greater Victoria

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People with complex mental-health and substance-use challenges are often left homeless or risking eviction, according to BC’s Mental Health Minister.

But Sheila Malcolmson announced Tuesday that the province is looking to combat that, bringing excess complex-care housing spaces to Greater Victoria.

Through Budget 2022, the BC government says it’s investing $164 million over the next three years to open new complex-care housing for as many as 500 vulnerable people province-wide, including 100 spaces locally.

The province says this housing will be delivered in the Capital Region by Island Health, in partnership with BC Housing and non-profit service providers.

According to officials, the spaces will be spread among several housing locations across the region and are expected to be operational by 2023.

Complex-care housing offers enhanced support, including nurses, peer workers, social workers and other healthcare professionals, as well as connections to treatment and other specialized services.

First launched this past January, there are already four complex-care sites located in Vancouver, Abbotsford and Surrey, the province says.

Minister Malcolmson calls it a “groundbreaking approach” for people with overlapping mental-health and substance-use challenges, or traumatic and acquired brain injury.

“Often left homeless or risking eviction, people who access complex-care housing will get supports where they live from social workers, nurses, peer workers and other health professionals,” said Malcolmson.

Victoria mayor Lisa Helps says she’s pleased the province has taken the initiative to implement complex-care housing in BC’s communities.

“Complex-care housing will make a real difference in the lives of our communities’ most vulnerable people by offering enhanced supports and services so urgently needed to increase their health and well-being,” added Helps.  

Meanwhile, construction is well underway on Victoria’s newest supportive housing site, which will shelter many of the area’s vulnerable population once operational.

BC Housing says the first modular units are now being installed at 1176 Yates Street. It’s a project that will eventually see around 40 homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

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