The Province of British Columbia has announced that Sooke will be the home of two new housing projects including affordable rental units and supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness.
The government says 75 affordable rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes will be constructed in addition to the 33 supportive units.
“Everyone deserves safe and secure housing. After so many years, these new homes will mean more people and families in Sooke have the affordable housing and support they need,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “We’re making progress, but these are still big challenges for people – we’re going to keep working with dedicated partners like M’akola Housing Society to build more homes people can afford throughout B.C.”
Construction is slated to begin next month on the affordable homes, with an opening date of 2022. This new development will be located at 2170 Charters Rd. and the building will offer studio through to three-bedroom homes for individuals, Elders, seniors and families.
For the supportive homes, the Province says it has purchased the Hope Centre at 6750 West Coast Rd. and will renovate the facility in order to accommodate 33 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness.
The newly renovated Hope Centre will include a service hub with six shelter beds, programming space for training/outreach services and a commercial kitchen, according to the Province.
“The plan is to gradually transition the building into supportive housing over the coming months. The Sooke Shelter society will operate the new building with staff on-site 24/7 to provide support services to residents, including life skills training, mentorship and other programming. Partnering agencies, including Island Health and Aids Vancouver Island, will be on-site to support residents’ access to mental health and other health services,” reads a statement from the Province.
The provincial government notes that the Hope Centre currently provides rental homes for people with low incomes. Current residents will have the option of staying in the new supportive housing facility if they choose. The M’akola Housing Society will be devoted to helping these residents, currently living in the Hope Centre, discuss their future plans and support those who wish to transition to other housing options.
“We are continuing our important work in the community of Sooke, serving our existing tenants at the Hope Centre while also expanding affordable housing options through the development of a new housing project in Sooke, which will serve more families, Elders and individuals.”
The Province adds that a community advisory committee (CAC) will be formed, which will include project partners and neighbourhood representatives in order to oversee the project’s integration within the community.