BURNABY, B.C. — Burnaby will soon have more homes to assist women and children fleeing from violence.
The province has committed to building 20 new affordable rental homes for the Dixon Transition Society, designed specifically for women and their children who are escaping domestic violence.
“Women leaving abuse need a safe and supportive place to go, and that is exactly what these new homes will provide,” said Mitzi Dean, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, in a statement. “These homes, and others in the Lower Mainland, are just the beginning of our government’s commitment over the next 10 years. We are working with non-profit partners all over the province to ensure many more women and children have places to go where they can find safety and a place to heal.”
The Dixon Transition Society’s project will be financed by the Building BC: Women’s Transition Fund, a $734-million investment over 10 years to build 1,500 transition homes, second-stage housing and long-term housing spaces for women and children leaving violence. This first step of the fund will see 280 new homes through 12 projects in communities around the province.
“We applaud the province for recognizing and addressing this vital need. Dixon Transition Society has been providing transitional housing and comprehensive support services for women and children fleeing domestic violence for over 45 years,” said Pany Aghili, executive director, Dixon Transition Society. “We know from our years of experience that lack of affordable and safe housing often leaves women faced with the impossible choice of returning to a violent home or risking homelessness. This initiative will provide women and their children with safe housing and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.”
The province noted the final project plans are still subject to change, but they will include access to health services, counselling, resume building, interview skills and workshops about building healthy relationships, financial literacy, self-care and others.
Officials explained the construction schedule for the project hinges on selecting the site and BC Housing’s development and approval process.
The Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund was launched in Budget 2018 as part of the province’s 30-point housing plan. The plan outlines the largest investment in affordable housing in B.C.’s history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.