52 modular housing units in Saanich built for $18.4M to house homeless

52 modular housing units in Saanich built for $18.4M to house homeless
Courtesy of BC Housing
A rendering of the site.

A new $18.4 million modular housing project is opening in Saanich, to offer 52 housing units for people experiencing homelessness in the Greater Victoria region.

The project at 2933, 2941 and 2949 Albina Street is a joint effort between the municipal, provincial, and federal governments as part of an ongoing commitment made by the District of Saanich, the province, and the federal government to tackle the homelessness issue many in the region face and is set to open its Albina Street location in the coming days.

“It’s a testament to the ongoing and effective partnership our local, provincial and federal partners are taking on housing,” Zac de Vries, chair of the Capital Region Housing Corporation, said in a phone interview with CHEK.

“These are supportive housing units. They’re for people who are experiencing homelessness, or are at a high risk of experiencing homelessness.”

The province provided $11.5 million in funding through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, and the federal government paid $6.9 million through the Rapid Housing Initiative. Additionally, the province will be providing around $1.26 million in annual operating funding.

According to its website, this is one of six projects initiated by BC Housing that ultimately aims to provide 280 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the region.

In addition to housing, the modular housing units in Saanich will offer “wrap-around” services that aim to support those living there with counselling, medical attention, and two meals a day.

The site will be managed by a local organization, Our Place Society, a local organization that seeks to help the most vulnerable in the community.

“They’re well positioned for compassionate leadership that’ll make Albina a success,” de Vries added.

In part with the Rapid Housing Initiative, de Vries says it’s a good example for the future of building in the province. 

“The build was quite fast, it was extended a little bit due to some geotechnical issues but it kicked off in 2021, pretty rapid all things considered,” de Vries said.

The units themselves are modular, and connect in what de Vries calls, “scaled up Ikea.”

“They’re built in a factory in Kamloops, where they can construct these things 12 months a year. They fit together, they’re highly livable, the ceilings in them are higher than my own place.”

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