Construction has started on 40 new safe and secure transitional homes for women and children leaving violence in Courtenay.
“These new second-stage homes in Courtenay will help women and their families rebuild their lives in safety and security, free from violence,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “Thank you to the Comox Valley Transition Society for working with us to provide another housing option for families in need.”
The three-storey building will provide second-stage housing for women, including transgender women, as well as non-binary and Two-Spirit people and children leaving violence. It will have a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, including five fully wheelchair-accessible units. Residents will also have access to a secure outdoor children’s play area.
Second-stage housing provides short-term accommodation with on-site supports for women and their dependent children leaving violence. Residents typically live in the units for six to 18 months before moving to more permanent housing.
“This new housing will help people in Courtenay break the cycle of abuse, stabilize their lives and get a fresh start,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “Our government is committed to investing in transitional housing around the province and I’m thankful to our project partners for answering the call to help. Together, we are making a critical difference for women and their families.”
The building will be managed by Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS). The society will offer supports such as life-skills training, crisis counselling and poverty-reduction services to women and children living in the homes.
“The Comox Valley Transition Society is pleased to see this much-needed second-stage housing for women and their dependent children underway,” said Heather Ney, executive director, CVTS. “This housing will increase the safety of those experiencing intimate partner violence and sexual assault, and will provide a place to land after an urgent stay at the transition house.”
The homes are funded through the Province’s Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund, which is a $734-million investment over 10 years to build and operate 1,500 transition housing, second-stage housing, and long-term housing spaces for women and children leaving violence.
“This is tremendous news,” said Bob Wells, mayor of Courtenay. “The City of Courtenay has been advocating for additional housing supports in our community at the provincial and federal level for years, in collaboration with our community partners. We are so grateful to the Province for responding to the needs of women and children who are fleeing domestic and gender-based violence. This much-needed project will provide safe and affordable housing and, with its built-in support services, it’s more than just walls and a roof. It will offer a stable and supportive environment that will help people break the cycle of abuse. I truly believe this facility will save lives.”
Rental rates will be calculated at 30% of the resident’s income or the provincial shelter rate for those who are receiving income or disability assistance.
Construction is expected to be complete in spring 2023.
This project is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded nearly 34,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway for people in B.C., including over 300 homes in the Comox Valley.
- The development will be named Darry’s Place in honour of Darry Estes, a long-time CVTS member and its former president.
- The Province, through BC Housing, is investing approximately $17.2 million for the project through the Women’s Transition Housing Fund, as well as providing an annual subsidy of $575,000.
- In addition, the Province is providing a one-time startup grant of $175,000.
- The City of Courtenay has waived more than $20,000 in fees for the project.
- As with all projects for women and children leaving violence, the address of this project has not been disclosed for safety reasons.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
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/