More than 300 new homes are being proposed for people in Nanaimo as a result of a new partnership between the Province and the City of Nanaimo.
These new homes will include new affordable rental homes for individuals, seniors and families, as well as new permanent, purpose-built supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness.
“We are working with our partners in Nanaimo to make sure people from all backgrounds, from people who are experiencing homelessness to young families, have homes they can afford,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This partnership will help us deliver a mix of homes for hundreds of people in the community.”
The agreement includes new developments proposed on six sites around the city:
- three affordable rental housing developments with approximately 125 homes for people with low to moderate incomes; and
- four supportive housing developments with approximately 190 homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the community.
“We’ve been working hard with BC Housing to move forward on developing housing options,” said Leonard Krog, mayor, City of Nanaimo. “I’m extremely pleased to see these efforts come to fruition, and I look forward to our ongoing partnership with the province.”
There is a clear need for more affordable and supportive housing in Nanaimo. The 2016 Canadian Rental Housing index confirmed there were more than 68,000 renters in Nanaimo and 23% of those considered themselves at risk of homelessness. In addition, the 2020 Point In Time Count for Nanaimo confirmed there were 425 people who were counted as experiencing homelessness in the city.
The planned new permanent supportive housing is intended to replace the temporary housing at Labieux Road and Terminal Avenue, as well as add new supportive housing at additional locations within the city.
Community members will be invited to attend virtual neighbourhood meetings this summer, which will highlight interests heard from the community to date regarding housing solutions in Nanaimo and create a space to offer further input to shape the proposed developments. (Backgrounder 1 outlines details on the developments.)
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo –
“The housing crisis hit Nanaimo hard, making it difficult for people to get ahead. These new affordable housing projects add to the hundreds our government is building in partnership with the city and community groups.”
Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan –
“I would like to thank BC Housing and the City of Nanaimo for working hard to develop housing solutions that will make a significant difference for hundreds of people in need in the community. Our government is committed to continuing to tackle the housing crisis facing people in Nanaimo and across the province.”
Violet Hayes, executive director, Island Crisis Care Society –
“Island Crisis Care Society has worked to provide shelter and care to those in need for over 30 years in the community of Nanaimo. The need has never been greater than it is now, and we are pleased that this partnership will allow those most vulnerable in our community to be supported in a real and impactful way.”
John McCormick, executive director, Nanaimo Region John Howard Society –
“As one of the community agencies responding to the needs of precariously housed and homeless community members, the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society is keenly aware of the valuable role of BC Housing in addressing the significant challenges that Nanaimo is seeking to address. We look forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with BC Housing through its investment in housing that is both good for our community and that contributes to fostering a safe and supported community.”
- Through provincial investments made since 2017, close to 850 homes are complete, under construction or in development for people with a range of incomes in Nanaimo.
- In September 2018, Nanaimo City Council endorsed the Nanaimo Coalition on Homelessness’ Action Plan to End Homelessness. The Action Plan is a five-year vision to help Nanaimo end homelessness, or where homelessness persists, diminish the harms it produces, by guiding and organizing homelessness services.
- Nanaimo City Council also adopted an Affordable Housing Strategy in September 2018, establishing the city’s role and priorities to promote affordable, appropriate and accessible housing in Nanaimo over 10 years (2018-28).
Further information about the proposed new developments is available here: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/Nanaimo
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/
Read more about the City of Nanaimo’s Affordable Housing Strategy:
Two backgrounders follow.