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More supportive housing units opening in Victoria

June 27, 2024 at 1:32 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Fifty-six people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Victoria are moving into new homes with support services.

“Having a safe place to lay your head at night is something everyone deserves, and we know that when people have stable housing with supports they can start to rebuild their lives and enjoy contributing to the community,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “Through this project, our government has now delivered on its 2021 promise to build nearly 300 new units of supportive housing in Greater Victoria, with even more housing projects to come.”

The new five-storey building at 953 Balmoral Rd., The Lily, has 56 studio apartments as well as a commercial kitchen, amenity room and offices for staff.

“A fundamental principle of our government’s Homes for People plan is meeting people where they’re at and giving them the tools they need to achieve their personal and housing goals,” said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “This includes life-skills training, employment assistance and counselling, physical and mental-health resources, meals, laundry services and referrals to addiction treatment and recovery services.”

The Lily will be operated by the Victoria Cool Aid Society, a non-profit organization that has been providing housing and health services in the Capital region since 1968. Cool Aid is also an experienced developer of supportive and affordable housing.

“We are very excited to have partnered with BC Housing to offer 56 brand new units of supportive housing at one of Cool Aid’s original sites,” said Elin Bjarnason, CEO, Cool Aid. “The building at 953 Balmoral is beautiful – both inside and out – and we know that people will be thrilled to call it home.”

The Lily is part of a plan announced in 2021 to develop six supportive housing sites in the Capital region to help address homelessness. These projects, all of which are open, have delivered 286 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness across greater Victoria.

This project is part of a $19-billion housing investment by the B.C. government. Since 2017, the Province has nearly 80,000 homes delivered or underway, including more than 3,000 homes in Victoria.

Quick Facts:

  • The Province, through BC Housing, provided approximately $16.6 million to the project through the Building BC: Permanent Housing Plan.
  • The Province, through BC Housing, will provide approximately $1.4 million in annual operating funding through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund.
  • The Province also purchased the land (two lots at 953 and 959 Balmoral Rd.) for $2.7 million, including property transfer tax.

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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