Safe, new homes coming for women, children in B.C.
More women and children will have an affordable, safe and secure place to go, as 150 homes are either opening or are under construction in four different locations throughout the province.
“No matter where people live in B.C., they should have a safe place to go when they need it,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “These 150 new homes will be instrumental in alleviating some of the pressures faced by existing programs – and in providing women and children with the safe landing spots they need in times of crisis and on the path to recovery.”
Three of the new women’s housing projects will be operated by non-profit providers that specialize in housing and supports for women, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, as well as their dependent children who are experiencing or are at risk of violence. Support staff will provide residents with a range of services, including emotional support and safety planning to make sure women and children receive the help they need during a difficult and stressful time.
Location of new spaces:
- New Hazelton – 11 transition spaces and seven units of second-stage housing, expected to open in spring 2023
- Lower Post – six units of safe home and second-stage housing and 10 supportive homes, expected to open in spring 2023
- Duncan – 33 units of second-stage housing, construction started in early 2023
The Province is committed to ensuring women and children leaving violence have safe places to recover and rebuild their lives. In 2018, government committed $734 million to create the Women’s Transition Housing Fund to build 1,500 new units of much-needed housing, including transition houses, safe homes, second-stage and long-term housing. This is the first significant investment in housing for women and children leaving violence in more than two decades.
These projects are part of a multi-year action plan being developed by the Ministry of Finance’s Gender Equity Office and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General to help end gender-based violence. Government undertook engagement in 2022 to inform the plan’s ongoing development.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home and their community – yet too many women and non-binary people continue to face violence and sexism in their everyday lives,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “These 150 new homes will make a tremendous impact in the lives of women and children who need our help and, as we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, I thank everyone involved for bringing these new supports to B.C. communities.”
Additionally, in Port Coquitlam an 83-unit development for women-led families operated by Atira Women’s Resource Society is expected to welcome residents in spring 2023.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why we are creating much-needed affordable and transitional housing for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness, and women and children fleeing violence in Lower Post and New Hazelton,” said Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion. “Through these projects, residents will be able to regain their independence and create a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones. This is our government’s National Housing Strategy at work.”
These developments are also part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 40,000 affordable homes that are complete or underway for people in B.C., including nearly 900 homes for women and children leaving violence.
- Women’s transition houses are staffed around the clock and provide safe, short-term shelter and supports — typically for 30 days — for women and children fleeing violence.
- Safe homes provide safe, short-term shelter and supports — typically for 10 days — for women and children fleeing violence in rural and remote communities.
- Second-stage housing provides safe, short-term housing and supports for women after they leave an abusive relationship or situation. Women can stay for six to 18 months while they prepare for independent living.
- As with all projects for women and children leaving violence, the project addresses have not been disclosed for safety reasons.
To view a map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C., visit: 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/