New housing for women, children coming to Langley
LANGLEY - Women and their children leaving violence in the Langley area will soon have 17 new safe and secure beds available to them.
"People in B.C. deserve a safe place to go when they need it, which is why we worked with partners to purchase these new homes for women and children in Langley and the immediate area," said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. "I want to thank and congratulate the Ishtar Women's Resource Society on 50 years of helping women, including transgender, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, and children find safe landing spots in times of crisis so that they can continue on the path to recovery."
The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased a building under construction in the Township of Langley that will provide 15 transition house beds and a two-bedroom second- stage housing suite.
Each space in the building will have a bathroom, shared kitchen, dining area and in-suite laundry. The building will also have a staff office, a common area for programmed activities, a fenced yard, patio, a double garage and air conditioning.
"These emergency beds and transition spaces will make a tremendous impact in the lives of women and children who need our help in Langley," said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. "Our government will continue to take action to build safer, more supportive communities and ensure survivors of violence can access the care and supports they need."
Transition houses are staffed around the clock and provide safe, short-term shelter and supports, typically for as long as 30 days. Most transition houses are residential homes in confidential locations where women, gender-diverse people and their families can live communally.
"This new building will provide much-needed security and peace of mind for women and children leaving violence in Langley," said Andrew Mercier, MLA for Langley. "I thank the Ishtar Women's Resource Society for helping us bring these new homes to Langley so we can ensure safe housing for vulnerable members of the community for years to come."
Second-stage housing provides safe, short-term housing and supports for women after they leave an abusive relationship or situation. Women typically move into second-stage housing after a stay in a transition house and can stay in the units for six to 18 months while they prepare for independent living.
Ishtar Women's Resource Society, a local non-profit organization that provides support services to women and children in Langley and area, will operate the homes. The society is celebrating its 50-year anniversary in June 2023.
"For 50 years, Ishtar Women's Resource Society has supported and empowered women in the Township of Langley who have been affected by abuse," said Eric Woodward, mayor, Township of Langley. “I am grateful for their immense contribution to our community and pleased to see that they will have a new transition house in our municipality to continue their good work.”
Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2023.
"Ishtar Women's Resource Society is grateful to BC Housing for its recent property purchase that will provide a safe, modern and bright home for women and their children in the Langley area," said Maureen Berlin, executive director, Ishtar Women's Resource Society. "We're also pleased that this purchase will increase our capacity to support the vulnerable women we serve."
The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has more than 76,000 new homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 550 homes in the Langley area.
- The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $2.9 million through the Building BC: Women's Transition Housing Fund to purchase and complete construction of the building, and BC Housing will also provide an annual operating subsidy of approximately $950,000.
- Once completed, the new homes will replace Ishtar's current 12-bed women's transition house in the community, allowing for increased capacity and accessibility.
- As is standard for projects for women and children leaving violence, the address of the project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.
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://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/