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Shovels in the ground for transitional housing facility in Courtenay

Shovels in the ground for transitional housing facility in Courtenay

COURTENAY, B.C.—Work has begun on a transitional housing facility 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, in a statement. “Thank you to the Comox Valley Transition Society for working with us to provide another housing option for families in need.”

Construction on the project is expected to be complete in spring 2023.

The three-storey building will provide 40 units of 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 onsite 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.

The building will be managed by the Comox Valley Transition Society (CVTS), which will offer supports such as life-skills training, crisis counselling and poverty-reduction services to women and children living in the homes.

“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.”

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.

 

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