12:53 PM

Permanent homes, shelter spaces coming to Salt Spring Island

GANGES - The Province, through BC Housing, has partnered with the Capital Regional District to create new independent housing with supports and shelter spaces on Salt Spring Island.

"This new project will provide permanent safe and secure housing with supports to vulnerable members of the Salt Spring community who have struggled to find a place to live," said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing. "This successful collaboration between BC Housing, Capital Regional District, Islands Trust, Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, and Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society shows what we can accomplish when we work together. This outcome means health-care workers have a place to live on the island, and the most vulnerable residents of Salt Spring also have a home. I'm very grateful to everyone who helped us get to this positive outcome."

Located at 161 Drake Rd., the new housing project will provide up to 28 new permanent homes with supports, as well as dedicated shelter and programming space. The project will provide housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community, including people who are living in Salt Spring's temporary Seabreeze Inne and Fulford-Ganges shelters. Residents will live independently and have access to supports, such as daily meals, laundry, employment support, health supports, harm reduction and community programming.

The Drake Road project will be operated by the Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society, which also operates the Fulford-Ganges shelter. The society will provide supports to residents, based on individual need.

BC Housing and the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation have agreed to extend the lease of the Seabreeze Inne shelter until construction of the Drake Road permanent homes are completed. The shelter's lease was set to expire on Feb. 8, 2022.

To get these homes built as soon as possible, the Province is accelerating the project straight to construction using its authority under the Interpretation Act. This is commonly known as "statutory immunity". The Capital Regional District has expressed its support for this approach.

Site preparation and construction will begin in the coming weeks. The building is expected to open in late summer 2022.

Once the Drake Road project is completed, the most vulnerable residents at the Seabreeze Inne and 268 Fulford-Ganges shelters will be relocated to the new site and both shelter locations will be returned to their owners. BC Housing will also provide rent supplements to shelter guests who are able to live independently and want to rent in the private market.

BC Housing will engage with the public and Drake Road neighbourhood stakeholders in January 2022. More information can be found online here: www.letstalkhousingbc.ca/salt-spring-island-supportive-housing

This project is part of B.C.'s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 30,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including 78 homes on Salt Spring Island.

Quick Facts:

  • BC Housing will lease the 161 Drake Rd. from the Capital Regional District for a renewable term of 60 years.
  • A project budget will be finalized in the coming months.

Learn More:

A map showing the location of all announced provincially-funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC

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/