Victoria modular housing finally clicking into place

WatchConstruction is almost finished on a new Victoria housing project, over a year later than expected. The building will be home to more than Indigenous women.

Better late than never: Victoria modular housing finally clicking into place

Giant modular containers stacked like lego pieces were finally assembled on Thursday, over a year later than expected. 

The building on Blanchard Street will be the new home for 22 Indigenous women.

The B.C. Housing project was originally supposed to be finished in January 2019, but delays pushed back construction until November. 

Now just a few months later, they are almost complete. 

“Modular housing allows it to be built quicker, more efficiently and they’re still really nice suites,” said Grant McKenzie, Our Place director of communications. 

The building will be called the Spa’Qun House meaning, “Flower House.”

The Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness will be running the house, and executive director Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi said it is not just a place to stay. 

“It’s much more than a physical building,” said Hunt-Jinnouchi, “There will be a clear vision for us to help build a sense of indigenous identity.”

“It’s culturally supported housing so there will be an elder, and there will be cultural activities and land-based healing and spiritual practices”

While the Indigenous community makes up only 3% of Canada’s population, they make up 30% of the country’s homeless, according to Our Place.

“The indigenous community faces a double challenge, not only poverty but also prejudice,” said McKenzie, “Getting housing and market rent can be a real challenge.”

Roberta Touchie was one of the Indigenous women who was originally accepted into the housing but was then turned away because of the delays.

“I was disappointed, really disappointed,” said Touchie.

The Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness has helped Touchie find other housing since then. 

“I find it’s harder for indigenous peoples. I have a lot of friends out here that are still stuck.”

The modular building was completed in the early afternoon on Thursday, with the last cube fitting snugly into place. 

While there is still more to be done, the project is on track to have the new residents move in on May 1st. 

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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