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Safe homes open for women, children in Victoria

October 25, 2023 at 10:06 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Nearly 20 new safe, affordable homes are available for women and their children leaving violence in Victoria with the opening of a new housing development.

“These new homes will provide vulnerable women and children in Victoria with a safe haven, surrounded by the supports and services that can help them rebuild their lives,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Our government understands we have a responsibility to help our most vulnerable people, and this purchase is the latest of example of our commitment to provide a continuum of housing units and spaces for those in need.”

The recently completed development was bought by the Province through BC Housing. It will provide seven second-stage spaces and 12 permanent affordable apartments for women, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, and children leaving violence or other traumatic situations. The building has a mix of one- and two-bedroom units, as well as office and amenity space.

The building will be managed by The Cridge Centre for the Family, which will offer a variety of supports to residents, including life skills training, crisis counselling and poverty-reduction services.

“The availability of safe and affordable housing is essential in supporting women to leave dangerous abusive situations,” said Joanne Linka, manager of communication and fund development, The Cridge Centre for the Family. “Without appropriate housing and supports, women have to choose between living in a violent situation and homelessness. No one should ever be forced to decide between being abused or being homeless.”

Second-stage housing provides safe short-term housing and supports for women after they leave an abusive relationship or situation. Women typically move into second-stage housing after a stay in a transition house and can stay in the units while they prepare for independent living.

“When women and their children are rebuilding their lives after violence, safe housing is essential,” said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “These new homes through the work of The Cridge Centre for the Family will be transformative for families in our community.”

The building will provide women and their children the opportunity to seamlessly move from the second-stage units into the permanent affordable apartments.

“I am thrilled to see the expansion of supportive housing for women and children in our community,” said Marianne Alto, mayor of Victoria. “These new second-stage and long-term spaces will provide hope and healing for those escaping violence and trauma. This project aligns with our commitment to creating a safer, more inclusive city, and the services provided will empower survivors to rebuild their lives.”

Residents started moving into the homes in September 2023. Residents will pay either 30% of their income for rent or, for those receiving income or disability assistance, the provincial shelter rate.

“A safe, affordable home will mean that women and gender-diverse people, and their children, who are rebuilding their lives after violence can begin the long process of healing,” said Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Thank you to all the partners who have come together to empower survivors with these new homes and a new future.”

This new housing is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 77,000 homes that have been delivered or are underway, including more than 3,000 in Victoria.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province provided $11.2 million through the Building BC: Women’s Transition Fund to buy and renovate the building, and will provide approximately $417,000 in annual operating funding.
  • An independent appraisal of the site was completed in March 2023 and supports the purchase price.

Learn More:

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing/

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