B.C. buys $4M in land to build new homeless shelter in Courtenay

B.C. buys $4M in land to build new homeless shelter in Courtenay
Downtown Courtenay is pictured in this file photo.

The B.C. government plans to build a permanent shelter and new supportive housing buildings in Courtenay after buying a $4 million plot of land in the city.

In a release Thursday, the province said it purchased the land at 925 Braidwood Rd. with the goal of building several structures on the property – including supportive housing buildings and a separate purpose-built shelter.

The supportive housing buildings will contain approximately 60 units, while the overnight shelter will have room for roughly 40 beds, according to the province.

The shelter will also have additional space for extreme weather situations.

“The City of Courtenay is thankful to the Province and BC Housing for their continued efforts to provide much-needed permanent shelter and supportive housing,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells in a statement.

While the land has been purchased, city council still has to approve rezoning of the land for the housing project.

The province does not expect construction to begin until early 2025, and before shovels hit the ground BC Housing says it will share information about the project with neighbours and nearby businesses.

“The proposed development application for the newly purchased property will be a top priority for council and staff, and we look forward to working with BC Housing and social-service providers to address this significant need in our community,” said Wells.

Homelessness in the Comox Valley

Homelessness in Courtenay has been a growing concern for the community.

In October 2023, a survey found 272 people were homeless in the Comox Valley, which is more than double the 132 people recorded in the same area in 2020.

People living in Courtenay sometimes felt like they were bearing the brunt of the crisis, since the city is where most of the services are located in the region.

READ MORE: Courtenay homeless count more than doubles since 2020

Last year, the province also purchased the local Super 8 Motel to use as temporary supportive housing in Courtenay.

The province says funding for the project comes from its $19 billion investment into housing in B.C.

With files from CHEK’s Dean Stoltz

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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