New homes open in Victoria for young adults experiencing homelessness
VICTORIA - Vulnerable young adults experiencing or at risk of homelessness are moving into 48 new safe and secure homes with supports.
“With the opening of this new building, we’re providing young people in Victoria with the support and opportunity they need to achieve their potential,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We’re proud to work with partners to give people of all ages the tools to support themselves, and we’ll continue to do so to ensure people in need have a safe and secure place to call home.”
The six-storey building at 1075 Meares St. has 48 self-contained studio homes, each with a private kitchenette and washroom. Residents will be young adults from 19 to 27 experiencing or at risk of homelessness who need additional support services to maintain housing. The building also includes a commercial kitchen, tenant support offices, a dining and lounge area and laundry.
“In our commitment to addressing the unique needs of young adults in Victoria, we understand the importance of collaborating with organizations who understand the community,” said Sean Fraser, federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “Together, our partnership brings these projects to life, ensuring they are not just structures, but nurturing environments that support the aspirations and challenges of residents. By working with our partners, we tap into different levels of expertise to go beyond bricks and mortar. This is one way the National Housing Strategy is ensuring no one is left behind.”
Beacon Community Services, an experienced non-profit housing provider, will operate the building and will provide residents with supports, including daily meals, laundry, and health and wellness services. Residents will also have access to education and employment opportunities to help them achieve their personal and housing goals. Staff will be on site 24/7 to support residents.
“We know the housing crisis is really hurting young people in our community and they do not have access to the affordable housing they need,” said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “I would like to thank everyone who helped make this project possible so that more young people can start stabilizing their lives and be on their way to a better life.”
This housing is part of a commitment between the Province, the federal government and the Capital Regional District to build six supportive sites with approximately 280 combined homes for people experiencing homelessness in the capital region.
“We believe this purpose-built property and the support model are an innovative opportunity to provide safe and stable housing for young adults at risk of homelessness in Victoria,” said Tricia Gueulette, CEO, Beacon Community Services. “We are offering not just shelter, but the supports required to thrive as they move forward on their journey to independent living. I want to thank our dedicated team, our partners, and the community for their continued support, and we look forward to the positive impact this building will have on the lives of the youth we serve.”
The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has delivered nearly 77,000 new homes that have been completed or are underway, including more than 3,000 in Victoria.
Marianne Alto, mayor of Victoria –
“This housing represents a significant, tangible response to the urgent issue of homelessness among young adults in Victoria. These 48 homes, with 24/7 support services, are critically needed in our community. We are grateful for the investment from the Province, as we work together to provide shelter, support, and hope for those who need it most.”
- The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $21.2 million to the project through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, and will provide annual operating funding.
- The Province also provided $150,000 in operating startup funding.
- The federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), provided $2.5 million through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund.
- Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS) is a 10-year, $82-billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.
To learn about B.C.’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/
To find out about the National Housing Strategy, visit: http://www.placetocallhome.ca/
For information about Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, visit: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/