Community Donations Build New Housing for Neighbours
March 18, 2021
A community of 30 tiny homes is moving ahead, providing a pathway out of homelessness to permanent housing.
Victoria City Council unanimously approved the temporary transitional housing initiative, to be located on a portion of the City parking lot at 940 Caledonia Avenue, following an opportunity for public comment Thursday evening.
The Tiny Homes Village will be built from re-purposed shipping containers following a successful fundraising campaign by the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, in partnership with Aryze Developments, that raised nearly $550,000 in donations from the community towards the overall project. The housing will operate for 18 months and be managed by experienced service provider Our Place Society, with funding from BC Housing.
The village is part of the City’s ongoing effort, working in partnership with the Province and BC Housing, to deliver more than 220 temporary indoor housing and shelter spaces for people currently living outside to launch them on a pathway to permanent stable housing.
The City has approved up to $250,000 towards site servicing and operations and will be applying to the UBCM Healthy Communities grant for additional funding for the project.
Each of the tiny homes will be about 100 square feet and include a bed, desk, chair, wardrobe and fridge. Communal shower and washroom facilities will also be installed. The site will also include planter boxes for vegetables and a public art component.
The village will have round-the-clock staffing and site security, and residents will have access to outreach and peer support workers. A resident-supported Clean Team will be organized to keep the community clean.
Residents will be at least 19 years of age, with priority given to people who are unhoused that require minimal supports and are ready to bridge to permanent housing. Each resident will have a personalized plan to help them reach their health, income and housing goals.
Construction of the Tiny Homes Village will begin at the site next week. It will welcome residents by the end of April at the latest.
Our Place will host a virtual neighbourhood meeting to share information and answer questions about the Tiny Homes Village, and a Community Advisory Committee will be created to support the successful integration of the village into the community.
Learn more about the Tiny Homes Village and upcoming community engagement at victoriahomelessness.ca/tinyhomes.
David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing
“This project is a great example of the whole community pulling together to get people into a safe and secure home. While this isn’t a traditional housing initiative, our government is always open to working with community members and organizations who show this kind of initiative, and we are glad to have partners like the City of Victoria who share this spirit of cooperation to make sure that everyone has a place to stay.”
Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria
“The life-changing project is the result of neighbours stepping up to help neighbours who are experiencing homelessness in our community. It’s proof positive of what can occur when residents, businesses, all levels of government and community service providers come together to make something great happen. Because people in this community care, up to 30 people at a time will now be helped on their pathway to permanent housing."
Kelly Roth, Executive Director, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness
“This project is an amazing demonstration of the positive impact of collaboration and partnership! Together we are creating change and offering hope through these transitional homes for people experiencing homelessness. We look forward to working with BC Housing and Our Place Society to support the new residents of the Tiny Home Village as they move in and join the neighbourhood.”
Julian Daly, CEO, Our Place Society
“It is exciting for Our Place to be involved in such a collaborative project, and we are looking forward to bringing in new residents and building a caring and healing community that will ultimately lead to permanent housing.”
Luke Mari, Principal, Aryze
"We are honoured to be constructing this transitional tiny home community for some of our city’s most vulnerable. These homes are being built with the utmost care so that the team at Our Place can welcome residents to a safe and comfortable community that will serve as a foundation on their journey to more permanent housing. The generosity from the citizens of Victoria has been astounding – we are so proud of our entire city for supporting this compassionate solution for those who need it most."
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