Province secures more housing for homeless campers in Victoria

June 15, 2016

The British Columbia government will provide more than 140 additional housing units for people who are homeless in Victoria, including those camping on the courthouse lawn, through the purchase of the former Central Care Home.

The Province has bought the building at 844 Johnson St. for $11.2 million and will convert it to long-term supportive housing to offer those in need a safe and secure place to stay.

Renovations to the building and within the units will begin immediately to prepare for occupancy. Some of the upgrades include replacing flooring throughout the building, painting, pest-control proofing and security upgrades. Once renovations are complete, tenants will move into the building in late July.

PHS Community Services will operate the facility and, with the help of Island Health, will provide outreach and support services to clients.

The building was previously owned by the Baptist Housing Society and served as a senior care home until 2014.

Since October 2015, the Province has housed more than 190 people from the encampment at the courthouse. Twenty-two people have also transitioned into permanent housing.

Quotes:

Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing –

“Conditions at the courthouse lawn are unsafe and the fire hazard danger is growing. The purchase of the Central Care Home will add enough spaces to ensure these individuals are moved into safe housing that includes on-site support staff.”

Mayor Lisa Helps, City of Victoria –

“We’d like to thank the Province for listening to the input of many Victorians who have suggested purchasing this vacant building and using it for much-needed housing. We look forward to seeing it open and people housed.”

Quick Facts:

  • Last year, the Province invested nearly $32 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for more than 5,100 Victoria households.
  • The Province and the Capital Regional District recently entered into an agreement totalling $60 million that will create new affordable housing projects for people in need throughout the region.
  • Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4.4 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families.
  • This year, more than 104,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.

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