As construction of the supportive housing project at 1909 Prosser Rd. continues, BC Housing says it will give priority to people from the Saanich Peninsula. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Saanich Peninsula residents high priority in Central Saanich housing project

Council questions prompt response from BC Housing

  • Jul. 17, 2021 12:00 a.m.

A supportive housing project under construction in Central Saanich will give priority to Peninsula residents.

“People from the Saanich Peninsula will be prioritized and the number will be informed through our current process of identifying residents in our existing supportive housing sites in Victoria for people who want to return to their home community,” said Tim Chamberlin, senior communications advisor, media relations and issues management with BC Housing.

Last month, Central Saanich council passed a motion calling on the province to give preferential treatment to three categories of individuals, including seniors, when it comes to the supportive housing project on Prosser Road.

They include stabilized individuals who are working on achieving employment and looking for a secure and drug-free environment to transition from an at-risk environment; local and First Nations residents displaced due to a lack of housing and appropriate treatment looking to return to a familiar environment; and seniors looking for a safe and substance-free environment to transition from an at-risk environment.

RELATED: Central Saanich sends housing preference list to province for Prosser project

The motion passed last month was the latest of its kind from Central Saanich. Council passed it just days before the June 30 deadline for submissions and amidst ongoing questions probing the nature of the project and the ability of the community to accommodate it.

Chamberlin acknowledged those questions. He said BC Housing is committed to working with the municipality and community partners to ensure a successful integration of the project into the community.

“We have communicated to the (municipality) that we will be doing community outreach and have already connected with Central Saanich Police Department,” said Chamberlin. “BC Housing has also been hosting virtual community engagement sessions to address neighbourhood concerns and will continue to hold these sessions in the lead up to the building’s opening (broadly scheduled for spring 2022).”

Chamberlin said BC Housing remains committed to being good neighbours in providing a safe community both inside and outside the building.

“We are taking steps to ensure there is as little disruption to the neighbourhood as possible,” he said.

“Once a building operator has been selected, BC Housing will work with them to set up a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) that will oversee the supportive housing’s integration within the community,” he said.

Chamberlin said it would take some time for residents to settle into the building. “It is our experience that after a few months, residents stabilize and public disturbances decrease dramatically.”

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Peninsula News Review