Women and children leaving violence in the Burnaby area will soon have more safe places to regroup, recover and begin rebuilding their lives.
Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, met with the Dixon Transition Society to celebrate a provincial commitment to create 20 new affordable rental homes, built specifically for women and their children who are leaving violent relationships.
“Women leaving abuse need a safe and supportive place to go, and that is exactly what these new homes will provide,” said Dean. “These homes, and others in the Lower Mainland, are just the beginning of our government’s commitment over the next 10 years. We are working with non-profit partners all over the province to ensure many more women and children have places to go where they can find safety and a place to heal.”
The Dixon Transition Society’s project will be funded through the Building BC: Women’s Transition Fund, a $734-million investment over 10 years to build 1,500 transition housing, second-stage housing and long-term housing spaces for women and children leaving violence. This first step of the fund will see 280 new homes through 12 projects in communities around the province.
“We applaud the Province for recognizing and addressing this vital need. Dixon Transition Society has been providing transitional housing and comprehensive support services for women and children fleeing domestic violence for over 45 years,” said Pany Aghili, executive director, Dixon Transition Society. “We know from our years of experience that lack of affordable and safe housing often leaves women faced with the impossible choice of returning to a violent home or risking homelessness. This initiative will provide women and their children with safe housing and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. We are proud to partner with the Government of B.C. and City of Burnaby to provide these critically needed affordable housing units.”
While final project details are subject to change, proposed support services include access to health services, counselling, resume building, interview skills and workshops about building healthy relationships, financial literacy, self-care and others.
A construction schedule for the project depends on an appropriate location selection and BC Housing’s development and approval process.
The other transition home projects approved in the Lower Mainland include:
- Chilliwack – Ann Davis Transition Society’s 10-bed transition house that began operation on Oct. 1, 2018.
- Vancouver – The Governing Council of the Salvation Army will operate 10 beds for women who have experienced exploitation and human trafficking.
- The BC Society of Transition Houses has worked with BC Housing on a provincewide needs-assessment to help target project funding in communities throughout the province.
- Women’s transition houses are staffed 24/7 and provide safe, short-term shelter and supports — typically for 30 days.
- Safe homes provide safe, short-term shelter and supports, typically for 10 days, for women and children leaving violence in rural and remote communities.
- Second-stage housing provides safe, short-term housing and supports for women after they leave an abusive relationship or situation. Women can stay for six to 18 months while they prepare for independent living.
- The Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund was launched in Budget 2018 as part of the Province’s 30-point housing plan. The plan outlines the largest investment in affordable housing in B.C.’s history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.
Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit: news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges
To learn more about Dixon Transition Society and their services, visit: dixonsociety.ca
To learn more about Dixon Transition Society’s transition house and Second Stage program, watch Dixon House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuL3o2uKUtw
and Wenda’s Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtrjhdYicPU