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Safe, new homes coming for women, children on Westshore

November 4, 2022 at 9:43 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Construction has started on 50 new safe, secure homes for women and children fleeing violence on the Westshore, which is the result of a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, and the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society (VWTHS).

“These homes will allow women and children on the Westshore, to find a safe haven where they can begin to rebuild their lives with the supports and services they need,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “Our government is committed to helping survivors by building safer, more supportive communities, free of abuse and violence.”

The new four-storey building will include two transition spaces and 48 second-stage homes for women and gender-diverse people leaving violence, including transgender women, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people, and their dependant children on the Westshore,and surrounding areas. Both the transition and second-stage housing will provide short-term accommodation with on-site supports. Transition-house guests normally stay for 30 days, while second-stage housing residents typically live in the units for six to 24 months before moving to more permanent housing.

VWTHS will operate the building and provide on-site support services to residents, such as safety planning, crisis intervention, parenting support and tenancy resources. The development will provide women and their children the opportunity to seamlessly move from the transition house beds into the second-stage units.

“This new project will provide 50 units of safe housing for families and offer essential support services to help women and children recover from the trauma and upheaval in their lives,” said Makenna Rielly, executive director, VWTHS. “Victoria Women’s Transition House is thrilled with this new initiative in our community.”

Rent for the second-stage housing will be calculated at 30% of residents’ income or the provincial shelter rate for those who are receiving income or disability assistance. Since transition spaces provide an immediate safe space for women to start rebuilding their lives, guests will not have to pay rent.

Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2024.

The project is one component of a multi-year action plan to help end gender-based violence being developed by the Ministry of Finance’s Gender Equity Office and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Government undertook focused engagement this year to inform the plan’s ongoing development.

“Our government is committed to ensuring everyone – including women, gender-diverse, transgender, Two-Spirit and non-binary people – feels safe in their home and their community,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “This new project is an essential step to creating safer, more supportive communities and ensuring survivors have the support they need to rebuild their lives.”

The development is also part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded over 36,000 affordable homes that are either complete or underway for people in B.C., including nearly 230 homes on the Westshore,

“This is an important support service to have in Langford, and I am pleased that after many years of working together, we can now see this project come to life,” said Stew Young, mayor, City of Langford. “Everyone should have the right to a safe environment and to feel supported by their community. The Victoria Women’s Transition House Society’s second-stage transition house in Langford will help those in need, not only in Langford but throughout the Westshore. I am grateful to everyone who has worked so diligently on this important project to ensure it becomes a reality.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, is providing approximately $23.6 million to the project through the Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, and will provide annual operating funding.
  • As with all projects for women and children fleeing violence, the address of this project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.

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/

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