VICTORIA - People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Victoria have greater access to supportive housing with today's official opening of the newly expanded Swift House.
Located at 467 Swift St., the building originally contained 26 supportive apartments as well as shelter space. After opening Rock Bay Landing in 2011, and moving the emergency shelter beds to that location, Swift House was redeveloped and now offers 49 supportive housing apartments.
Swift House is managed and operated by Victoria Cool Aid Society.
The Province provided $2.45 million in construction financing for the renovations at Swift House and will provide annual operational funding of approximately $1 million for all 49 apartments.
This is the third and final project to open under an agreement between the Province and the City of Victoria to create over 170 new or upgraded units of supportive housing for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head -
"We have worked with the city to develop three new supportive housing projects for those who are homeless - Swift House, Rock Bay Landing and Camas Gardens. These projects show what can happen when we all work together and combine resources. In each of these developments are stories of transformation, strength and human resilience. They have had a remarkable impact on so many lives."
Murray Coell, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands -
"Swift House is a great example of how we can use existing resources to create housing for people in need in Victoria. Supportive housing offers people a safe home and the supports needed to change the course of their lives. We know the model works and it is making a real difference for some of the most vulnerable people in our community."
Mayor Dean Fortin, City of Victoria -
"Ending homelessness in Victoria is one of our top priorities. Through strong partnerships with other levels of government and local non-profit housing operators, we can make a real difference for people in need in our community. With today's opening of Swift House, we are one step closer to achieving this goal."
Kathy Stinson, executive director, Victoria Cool Aid Society -
"At Victoria Cool Aid Society, we truly believe that by working together, we can find community-based solutions to help end homelessness. Swift House is just one example among many of how we can build an inclusive, safe community for people in need."
- Under the provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, the government has partnerships with eight communities.
- The municipal partnerships will build more than 2,300 new units of supportive housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in B.C. (Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.) Construction is now underway or complete at many of the 32 housing developments.
- Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
- In 2010-11, the Province invested approximately $29 million to provide subsidized housing and rent supplements for nearly 4,800 households in Victoria.
- The Victoria Cool Aid Society has been building hope, lives and community in the Capital Region since 1968 through a wide range of programs including supported housing, community health and dental services, emergency shelter and a casual labour pool for adults who are homeless or in need of help.
To learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness, visit: www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Creating/PHI
To learn more about programs and services offered by the Victoria Cool Aid Society, please visit: www.coolaid.org
604 417-5791 cell
City of Victoria
250 217-8343 cell