11:46 AM

New homes open for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria

VICTORIA - People experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Victoria are moving into 46 new homes with around-the-clock supports with the opening of The Juniper.

"The Juniper marks another step in our work to break the cycle of homelessness in Victoria and across the province," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "This building is part of our ongoing work with community partners to make sure people experiencing homelessness have access to safe, secure homes with the crucial supports they need, in addition to safe and stable housing."

Located at 1176 Yates St., The Juniper is a six-storey, purpose-built modular housing building with 46 studio units. Each unit includes a private washroom, shower and kitchenette with full- size fridge. Four of the units are wheelchair accessible.

The building will be operated by PHS Community Services Society (PHS). PHS will provide residents with support services, including 24/7 staffing, life-skills training, security, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental-health resources, meals, and referrals to addiction treatment and recovery services.

"We know from experience that supportive housing makes a real difference for the residents and for communities, which is why I'm so pleased to see doors open on The Juniper," said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. "I would like to thank all of our project partners for working with us to create a supportive environment where residents can be bolstered in their ability to build secure and fulfilled lives."

The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $15 million to the project through Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund and will provide annual operating funding.

"We're excited for the opening of these much-needed supportive housing units," said Avery Taylor, director of PHS, Victoria operations. "Being housed at The Juniper will hugely improve the lives of many vulnerable people."

The Juniper is part of the Province's ongoing commitment to build new homes for people in need. It is the fifth of six new projects that will deliver more than 280 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness across the capital region.

"We are thrilled to see 46 new homes with support services made available in Victoria, offering those experiencing homelessness a safe and affordable place to live," said Marianne Alto, mayor, Victoria. “Having PHS Community Services Society's dedicated team of professional staff on site to support residents will be critical to achieving successful outcomes. We thank BC Housing for their leadership in making this project a reality.”

The new homes on Yates Street are part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 77,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 3,000 homes in Victoria.

Learn More:

To learn about government's new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/