More women and children fleeing violence will have a safe and secure place to go, as the Government of British Columbia builds 1,500 new supportive homes throughout the province.
“Women fleeing abuse need a safe and welcoming place to go, where they can find comfort and security to heal,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our government is making the first significant investment in transition and supportive housing in 20 years, to give women and children escaping dangerous situations the security and support they need.”
Through the new Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, the Province will invest $734 million over the next 10 years, to build and operate 1,500 new units of much-needed housing, including transition houses, safe homes, second-stage and long-term housing.
The new housing will include support staff who will provide a range of services, including emotional support and safety planning to make sure women and children receive the help they need during a difficult and stressful time in their lives.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that women and children who are in distress are being turned away from housing, because there aren’t enough spaces available,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Addressing this need is a priority for our government. We look forward to working together with our valued non-profit partners and municipalities to build this much-needed supportive housing in communities throughout British Columbia.”
“Fleeing violence often results in poverty and homelessness for women and their children,” said Joanne Baker, executive director, BC Society of Transition Houses. “Secure, stable housing can provide a foundation for recovery and economic empowerment. The reality or risk of homelessness frequently results in women returning to violence, which means the Province’s investment in affordable housing that is dedicated to women and children escaping violence is crucial.”
The new women’s housing will be operated by non-profit providers, who specialize in housing and supports for women and children who are experiencing or are at risk of violence. BC Housing is sending out an expression-of-interest to select the non-profit operators.
The Province, through BC Housing, will select projects based on community need, with the goal of building at least 500 supportive housing units within the next three years, and 1,500 over the next decade.
- Women’s transition houses are staffed 24/7, and provide safe, short-term shelter and supports — typically for 30 days — for women and children fleeing violence.
- Safe homes provide safe, short-term shelter and supports — typically for 10 days — for women and children fleeing 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 Province has set a target of creating 114,000 new homes, including affordable market rental, non-profit, co-op, supportive social housing and owner-purchase housing through partnerships, over 10 years.
- Budget 2018 launched the biggest investment in housing affordability in B.C. 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