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Safe new homes for women and children open in Courtenay

April 13, 2023 at 4:08 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Women and children leaving violence in Courtenay will soon move into new safe and secure homes with the opening of Darry’s Place.

“People in B.C., no matter where they are, deserve to have affordable, safe and secure homes when they most need it. These 40 new homes in Courtenay will make a positive impact on the lives of women and children leaving violence,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We will continue to provide more housing supports so more people can live in homes and communities where they feel safe, and where they can start moving forward on their paths to recovery.”

The three-storey modular building provides second-stage housing for women and gender-diverse people leaving violence, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, along with their children. The family-oriented development has a mix of studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, including five wheelchair-accessible units. The project also includes a secure outdoor children’s play area.

Second-stage housing provides short-term accommodation with on-site supports for women and their dependent children leaving violence. Residents typically move into second-stage housing after a stay in a transition house, and then live in the units for six to 18 months before moving to more permanent housing.

“Thanks to all partners involved, this new second-stage housing will provide safety and security for women and children leaving violence in our community,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “For families in need, this is an important space for them as they rebuild their lives, free from violence.”

The building will be managed by Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS). The society will offer supports, such as life-skills training, crisis counselling and poverty-reduction services to women and children living in the homes. People are scheduled to start moving in early May 2023.

“CVTS is so pleased to be opening Darry’s Place after years of working toward this goal,” said Heather Ney, executive director, Comox Valley Transition Society. “The lack of safe, affordable and supported housing is a real barrier to women and women with children escaping domestic violence and creating a life that is free from fear. This new housing provides the chance to stabilize, heal and move forward with strength and self-determination.”

Rental rates will be calculated at 30% of the residents’ income or at the provincial shelter rate for those who are receiving income or disability assistance.

Muchalat Construction, a local modular construction company, manufactured the units. The project is a partnership between the Province, through BC Housing, the City of Courtenay, Comox Valley Transition Society, and Pacific Swell Developments.

“Darry’s Place will provide a safe, affordable and caring environment for women and children who are fleeing domestic and gender-based violence,” said Bob Wells, mayor of Courtenay. “We are very grateful to the Province for funding this project in our community, and thankful also to the amazing team at the Comox Valley Transition Society who will be managing the facility and providing support services.”

The project is 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.

The development is also part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has delivered more than 74,000 new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 400 homes in the Comox Valley.

Quick Facts:

  • The development is named Darry’s Place in honour of Darry, a long-time CVTS member and its former president.
  • The Province, through BC Housing, invested approximately $17.2 million for the project through the Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, and will provide an annual subsidy of approximately $575,000.
  • The City of Courtenay waived more than $20,000 in fees for the project.
  • As is standard for projects for women and children leaving violence, the address of this project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.

Learn More:

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/

To read about the latest action plan to deliver more homes for people, faster, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Homes_For_People.pdf

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

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