The B.C. government has purchased the Comfort Inn Hotel in Victoria for $18.5 million to provide more affordable homes for people.
“Everyone deserves to have safe, stable housing they can afford, and this site offers great potential to deliver a mix of permanent housing to meet the needs of people in Victoria,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This will further add to the significant efforts underway with community and local government partners in the Capital Regional District to tackle the housing crisis and build the homes people need.”
The long-term use of the site will be determined through engagement with the community. In the short term, the building will provide approximately 65 rooms of temporary accommodations with wraparound supports for people currently living in encampments on the Pandora Avenue corridor and Topaz Park.
BC Housing is partnering with Our Place to operate the building, which will start to receive people – referred by Island Health and BC Housing – in the coming days.
“This is a substantial investment in our community and will provide housing for those who need it most,” said Lisa Helps, mayor, City of Victoria. “This site has significant redevelopment potential to provide a range of affordable housing in the long term. I look forward to working with the community and with BC Housing to determine the long-term use of this site.”
People will have access to services, such as meals, health-care services, addictions treatment and harm reduction, storage for personal belongings and other supports, including 24/7 staffing to provide security to residents of the building and the surrounding neighbourhood.
“Our Place is looking forward to partnering with BC Housing in this bold initiative to provide indoor accommodations for our street family during this health crisis,” said Grant McKenzie, director of communications, Our Place Society. “We intend to serve this vulnerable population with dignity while striving to be a good neighbour to the community.”