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New transitional homes coming for people making fresh start in Victoria

June 18, 2024 at 2:24 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Twenty-eight new transitional homes with supports will soon be available for people leaving the correctional system as construction gets underway on a mixed-use building in Victoria.

“Everyone deserves a good home, and we know that individuals transitioning from the correctional system to the community can face unique challenges in finding affordable housing,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “These 28 new homes will make a big difference as the new residents also get supports for health care, social services, life skills and employment training to help set them on the right path.”

Located at 736 Princess Ave., the six-storey building will be owned and operated by John Howard Society of Victoria, which is dedicated to helping people with programs and services focused on employment, housing, mentorship and restorative justice. The building will be the organization’s new headquarters. The upper floors of the building will have 28 studio apartments, each with a private washroom and kitchenette.

The lower floor will feature a social enterprise café with outdoor seating, which will be staffed by John Howard clients gaining work experience. The building will also have program and educational spaces, including a 46-square-metre (500 square-foot) demonstration kitchen and classrooms, as well as administrative space for John Howard staff.

“To support our neighbours and deliver more homes for people, we have to work together in partnership,” said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “This project is a perfect example. These 28 units will be brought to life by a unique partnership involving BC Housing, the John Howard Society, Correctional Services Canada and other funders. I look forward to welcoming the John Howard Society and our 28 new neighbours to the community.”

Site preparation began in April with construction starting this month. Occupancy is anticipated in 2026.

These homes are part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 80,000 affordable homes that have been delivered or are underway for people in B.C., including more than 3,000 homes in Victoria.


Manj Toor, executive director, John Howard Society of Victoria –

“Access to supported housing for clients leaving corrections is the foundation of our successful after-care model that’s centred around life skills and employment training. As well, once completed, this project will also serve as an integrated hub of wraparound services offering programs for vulnerable community members across Victoria.”  

Rob Clark, area director, Vancouver Island Community Corrections, Correctional Service Canada –

“Evidence shows that federal offenders who are being reintegrated into communities are more successful if they have appropriate community supports. Partnerships and facilities like this, which offer accommodation, employment training, counselling, education, addiction programs and mental-health support, greatly increase their chances of becoming active, productive and law-abiding members of society.”

Sara Tessier, national impact director – formerly incarcerated persons, The Northpine Foundation –

“Funding organizations like the John Howard Society of Victoria help provide housing and services for people exiting incarceration and build safer, stable communities with lower crime rates. Investing in these services will reduce recidivism and aid reintegration, offering a foundation for the formerly incarcerated to become productive, contributing members of society.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, is providing up to $13.9 million to fund construction.
  • Correctional Services Canada is providing a $1-million capital grant as well as approximately $1.4 million a year to fund operating costs.
  • John Howard Society provided the land (valued at $1.5 million) and $260,000 in cash equity.
  • The Northpine Foundation provided a capital grant of $1.2 million.
  • City of Victoria provided $280,000 from its Housing Reserve Fund and has reduced permitting fees to support the project.
  • The Federation of Canadian Municipalities provided approximately $150,000 to support a net-zero study grant to help reduce greenhouse gases.

Learn More:

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit:

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit:

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