The B.C. government has announced that it has purchased property in Victoria in order to build permanent, supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.
The property, which was purchased through BC Housing, will contain up to 50 new permanent units with around-the-clock supports, according to a government press release.
“Everyone deserves a good, safe place to call home, and the need for new supportive housing in Victoria is clear,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill in a statement. “This housing with wraparound supports will make a real difference for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, giving them a place of their own where they can stabilize and rebuild their lives.”
The province says that BC Housing is currently developing a proposal to combine the two lots at 1053 and 1075 Meares Street, which will be the location of the new supportive housing development.
The location is just off of the 1000-block of Cook Street, in behind Bubby Rose’s Bakery and Cafe.
A proposal is expected to be in place in early 2021 and more information will be presented to the community at that time.
Along with the new property, the government said BC housing will set up a new community advisory committee in order to oversee the development’s “integration with the community.”
The intention of the committee, says the province, will be to address any concerns raised by people living in the neighbourhood.
“We are grateful to the province for this important investment in supportive housing in Victoria,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a statement. “We know from experience that these new, purpose-built buildings fit well into existing neighbourhoods and create safe, secure places for people to live in our city and in communities throughout the capital region.”
According to the province, an experienced non-profit housing partner will be chosen to manage the proposed building following a finalized proposal. The government adds that the new supportive housing will offer residents 24/7 on-site staff and support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services.
An investment of approximately $3.2 million is being put towards the property purchase through the Supportive Housing Fund, says the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Including these units, the government says that there are now more than 200 new supportive housing developments being built or are already open in Victoria.
Last month, a first-of-its-kind supportive housing complex for Indigenous women opened in Victoria.