New homes open for vulnerable women, children in Kamloops
KAMLOOPS - Women and children leaving violence in Kamloops now have 14 additional safe places to call home, thanks to a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, and the Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society (KDEFS).
"No matter where people live in B.C., they should have a safe place to go when they need it," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "These 14 homes will be instrumental in providing women and children with the safe, long-term housing options they need in times of crisis and on the path to recovery."
Spread across two three-storey buildings, the 14 townhouse-style homes provide long-term, affordable rental housing for women and gender-diverse people leaving violence, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, along with their children. Each unit has direct outdoor access and its own in-suite washing machine and dryer. A shared amenities space is available to all residents.
"Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and their community, yet too many women and gender-diverse people continue to face violence," said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. "These 14 new homes will make a tremendous impact in the lives of women and children leaving abusive situations, providing them with stability as they rebuild their lives and recover."
KDEFS will operate the new homes. The operator's offices are on site, located on the ground floor of one of the buildings.
"We are thankful for the opportunity to work with BC Housing to expand services to include these new units of housing to women and their children fleeing, or at risk of, intimate-partner violence," said Holly-Rose Vesper, director of operations, KDEFS. "We are the only organization in Kamloops providing subsidized housing to women and children fleeing intimate-partner violence, which is an important step in transitioning into permanent stable and independent living, while maintaining the safety and security of the vulnerable women and their children we serve."
The Province, through BC Housing, invested approximately $7.2 million through the Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund (WTHF) to the project. A further $66,950 in operating funding will also be provided annually to KDEFS.
The development is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 76,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 1,660 homes in Kamloops.
- As is standard for projects for women and children leaving violence, the address of this project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.
- The Women's Transition Housing Fund was created in 2018 as a $734-million investment over 10 years to build and operate 1,500 transition housing, second-stage housing, and long-term housing spaces for women and children leaving violence.
- As part of the Province's new housing plan, Homes for People, the government is investing a further $1.3 billion over the next 10 years to double the number of Women's Transition Housing Fund spaces, bringing the total to 3,000.
- To date, nearly 1,000 units are complete or underway giving women and their children a place to regroup and rebuild their lives.
To learn more 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