BC Housing announces 100 units to help Cowichan Valley’s homeless

BC Housing announces 100 units to help Cowichan Valley's homeless
WatchThe BC Housing units will be split between Duncan and North Cowichan. North Cowichan's mayor says both buildings are much needed.

BC Housing is announcing 100 new supportive housing units in the Cowichan Valley for the homeless.

They will be split between a site in Duncan and a site in North Cowichan, which each supportive housing facility having 50 units each.

The two sites will be located at 2983 Drinkwater Rd. in North Cowichan and 260 White Rd. in Duncan.

Right now, North Cowichan’s Warmland shelter is full every night, with many people unable to get a space inside.

“Right in front of the shelter, down the road, everywhere. Most of them are my friends and I don’t like seeing that,” said Kenneth Robert, a Warmland Shelter Volunteer.

“It’s an exciting project. It ticks all the boxes we’ve been asking for in terms of supportive services, in terms of the wrap-around stuff that we need, the mental health, the addictions counselling, the job training. All that sort of stuff,” said Al Siebring, North Cowichan’s mayor.

Siebring is welcoming the announcement and says the properties won’t have to go through a rezoning process.

“I’m also excited that it’s a quick build. It’s modular housing. They did one up in Parksville that went up in six months, seven months and that’s kind of the model we want here,” said Siebring.

People who live near the new project’s locations say they’re unsure about what they will bring but recognize other people do need help.

“People’s property getting stolen left right and centre and things like that and I don’t want to see that happen here but I mean obviously people need help but…” said Brad Wise, a North Cowichan resident.

“People need them. It’s not for me to say. It really isn’t and there’s a nice piece of property here that can be used to help people. That’s a good thing,” Rick Firth, a Duncan resident.

Siebring says if the housing is properly run, there won’t be problems and these facilities will help a lot of people turn their lives around.

Construction on both sites is set to begin this fall.

The BC Housing release can be found here.

At the beginning of May, the Cowichan region received emergency funding for the homeless during Covid-19.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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