Province purchases land for supportive housing in Victoria
VICTORIA – The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased property in Victoria to build up to 50 new permanent homes with around-the-clock supports for people in the community experiencing homelessness.
“Everyone deserves a good, safe place to call home, and the need for new supportive housing in Victoria is clear,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “This housing with wraparound supports will make a real difference for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, giving them a place of their own where they can stabilize and rebuild their lives.”
BC Housing is developing a proposal to combine the two lots at 1053 and 1075 Meares St. and build a permanent supportive housing building. Once a proposal is in place in early 2021, BC Housing will engage with the community to share more information about the project. In addition, BC Housing will set up a new community advisory committee that will oversee the supportive housing’s integration within the community. The committee will address any concerns raised by people in the neighbourhood.
“We are grateful to the Province for this important investment in supportive housing in Victoria,” said Lisa Helps, mayor, City of Victoria. “We know from experience that these new, purpose-built buildings fit well into existing neighbourhoods and create safe, secure places for people to live in our city and in communities throughout the capital region.”
An experienced non-profit housing partner will be selected to manage the proposed building once the proposal has been approved. Residents will be provided with 24/7 on-site staff and support services, including meal programs, life and employment skills training, and health and wellness support services.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Province has invested approximately $3.2 million through the Supportive Housing Fund to purchase the sites.
- Including these proposed homes, there are more than 200 new supportive homes in development or already open in Victoria.
- More than 23,000 homes are completed or underway in communities throughout B.C., including over 3,400 homes in the Capital Regional District.
To learn more about the project, ask questions and provide input, visit: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/victoria-meares
For more information on how BC Housing is supporting British Columbians during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit: https://www.bchousing.org/COVID-19/
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
Two backgrounders follow.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Services, supports provided for supportive housing
All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing.
The Province is providing annual operating funding to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced staff provide support to tenants based on their assessed needs.
Services and supports provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, include:
- both on-site supports and connection to additional specialized supports in their community;
- supports that are tailored to the needs of the residents, including education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction treatment programs;
- individual or group support services, such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
- case planning and needs assessment;
- other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
- help accessing income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
- support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
- no-cost laundry services, either on or off site.
Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing
Province building new homes to meet full spectrum of housing needs
The B.C. government is working in partnership with non-profits, municipalities, First Nations, Indigenous housing organizations and the private sector to build 114,000 affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for British Columbians by 2028.
Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, more than 23,000 new homes are completed, under construction or in the approvals process for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live, from people who are experiencing homelessness and seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families, students and individuals. As of Dec. 31, 2019, this includes:
Housing for people with middle incomes
The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:
- HousingHub: 2,802 homes
Housing for people with low to moderate incomes
This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000) as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 9,837 homes:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 1,565 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Affordable Rental Housing Program: 1,615 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Deepening Affordability Fund: 1,976 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
- Regional Housing First Program: 907 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
Social housing or subsidized rents:
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 2,609 rental homes for people with low incomes
- Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 1,165 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off- reserve
Housing for people with very low incomes
Rental housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, or for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) – 4,795 homes:
- Rapid Response to Homelessness: 2,012 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund: 1,060 homes with 24/7 support
- Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 679 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
- Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 1,044 homes
Housing for students – 5,584 homes:
- BC Student Housing Loan Program: 2,699 on-campus student housing units are under construction, in development or in the approvals process
- 2,885 student housing units are also completed, under construction or in development through partnerships with post-secondary institutions
Total: 23,018 homes
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing