New homes are on the way for Kitimat women facing violence
KITIMAT – Women and children in Kitimat fleeing violence will have more options for housing, thanks to a new transition house being funded by the Government of British Columbia as part of a partnership with Tamitik Status of Women Association, the Haisla Nation and the District of Kitimat.
“We know that there is a critical need for more transition housing for women and their children in Kitimat and in communities throughout British Columbia,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “It has been far too long since government made the necessary investments in these homes. With this new housing, women and children fleeing abuse in this region will get the safe and welcoming environment they need.”
The new mixed-use building will include up to 12 beds of transition housing and up to 10 beds of second-stage housing for women and children. The project will also include up to 20 new affordable rental homes, including 10 accessible units for women and families in need.
The project will be funded through the Province’s Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, a $734 million investment to support the construction of 1,500 spaces in transition and second-stage housing for women and children fleeing violence.
“I’m proud to be part of a government committed to providing housing for our communities’ most vulnerable,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “This new housing will give women and children escaping violence the comfort and safety they need to start rebuilding their lives.”
Tamitik Status of Women Association will be the operator. The association will work with the Haisla Nation to make sure one of the transition beds is dedicated to high-risk Haisla members who require ongoing, wraparound supports.
Construction is expected to start in spring 2019.
Linda Slanina, executive director, Tamitik Status of Women Association –
“This project is primarily designed with one goal – to ensure that women fleeing violence doesn’t result in poverty or homelessness. When we help women access the housing they need, we are doing more than putting a roof over their head – we are helping lay the groundwork for broader social and economic success.”
Mayor Phil Germuth, District of Kitimat –
“Kitimat Council is very pleased to see this important local project is receiving support from the Province of British Columbia, as well as private donors and the municipality. This project fulfils one of the recommendations of our 2015 Housing Action Plan. We recognize Tamitik Status of Women for the effort taken to reach this turning point and wish everyone involved a safe and successful time during the build.”
- The B.C. government will provide approximately $10.3 million for constructing the new building and provide annual operating funding once complete.
- The District of Kitimat provided the land valued at $297,500 and a cash donation of $200,000.
- Women’s transition houses are staffed 24/7 and provide safe, short-term shelter and supports – typically for 30 days – for women and children fleeing violence.
- Second-stage housing provides safe short-term housing and supports for women after they leave an abusive relationship or situation. Women can stay for six to 18 months while they prepare for independent living.
- To address the issue of housing affordability for British Columbians, the Province is curbing speculation in B.C.’s housing market and building 114,000 affordable market rental, non-profit, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships.
- Budget 2018 launched the most significant investment in housing affordability in B.C. history – more than $7 billion over 10 years.
Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: https://www.bchousing.org/partner-services/Building-BC/womens-transition-housing-fund
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing