Province Invests $2.5 M Toward Housing Victoria Homeless

BC Government News Release – September 8, 2010 – Victoria – The Province is investing $2.5 million in two former Traveller’s Inn motels to provide more affordable housing options for people in Victoria who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Healthy Living and Sport, on behalf of Rich Coleman, Minister of Housing and Social Development.

“Our government is committed to providing a range of affordable housing options that meet the diverse needs of people facing the reality of homelessness while preserving existing rental stock,” said Chong. “We are delivering on our commitment with this investment by collaborating with municipal and community partners on these two properties.”

“Ending homelessness is a top priority for the City of Victoria. Converting these hotels into affordable housing for our residents in greatest need is a step forward in strengthening our community and making life better for everyone,” said Victoria Mayor and co-chair for the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, Dean Fortin.

The $2.5 million investment will be allocated to two Traveller’s Inn sites at 710 Queens Ave. and 120 Gorge Rd. and will provide approximately 75 affordable rental units for people in Victoria who are at risk of homelessness. The Gorge Rd. site will be renovated to provide approximately 39 one-bedroom apartments for Aboriginal people living off-reserve and the Queens Ave. site will be renovated to provide approximately 36 studio apartments.

This funding is in addition to the more than $28 million in provincial funding that has been allocated for three sites through a 2008 agreement between the Province and the City of Victoria, creating approximately 170 new apartments and shelter beds to alleviate homelessness. Two of the sites are already under construction: 950 Humboldt Street and 535 Ellice Street. Once complete, the shelter beds at Ellice Street will replace the existing Streetlink shelter, which will be redeveloped into new supportive apartments at Swift House.

In 2010-11, B.C.’s budget for social housing is approximately $562 million, more than four times as much as in 2001.

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness is a website providing a comprehensive and detailed look at provincial programs and services to address homelessness. Visit www.bchousing.org/breakingthecycle for more information.