Victoria city council has voted in favour of a temporary use permit that will allow the Cool Aid Society to provide housing for 52 people who have previously been homeless.
The society said many of the first tenants at the property at 3020 Douglas Street will be moving from the Choices transitional shelter in View Royal when it closes at the end of the year. Additional residents will be people who are currently homeless in Greater Victoria.
The issue has caused some concern in the Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood. Ultimately, city council voted 5-3 in favour of the permit.
Victoria Cool Aid Society Kathy Stinson said they appreciate the Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood has other supportive and affordable apartment buildings, as well as Rock Bay Landing.
“Despite some neighbourhood opposition to any more such developments, city hall did the right thing to address the housing and homelessness crisis in our community,” Stinson said in a statement.
The province paid $9.3 million for the shuttered hotel on Douglas Street to provide housing to 52 people with low-to-moderate incomes and mental health or addiction issues.
The 2.5-acre property was valued at $5,145,000 by the B.C. Assessment Authority in 2016. The Victoria Cool Aid Society will own and operate the site.
There will be two residents support workers on site 24/7, as well as an on-site supervisor 40 hours a week. There will also be a full-time client services worker.
Tenants will receive one hot meal a day and a light breakfast. They will be able to access programming at Cool Aid Society’s downtown community centre, the casual labour pool and the society’s community health centre.
The new residents are expected to move into the renovated property in January.