Rosalie’s Village is the latest development to help vulnerable residents of Greater Victoria, and a crucial step forward towards affordable housing, according to Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes.
The affordable housing advocate applauded the announcement of the 41-unit residence following its official unveiling last week. (Construction is already underway, and it should be ready for September 2016.)
Rosalie’s Village is being built concurrently with the Cottage Grove development, another affordable housing project in Saanich. Even though Cottage Grove is a senior dedicated apartment – and Rosalie’s Village will dedicate its suites to young mothers and for vulnerable women aged 40 to 55 – Rosalie’s is an important part of the housing continuum, Haynes said.
“It has a ripple effect with affordable housing [in the region].”
The majority of the vulnerable women aged 40 to 55 will come from over housing situations, such as housing co-operatives, where they’ve been unable to move out due to the financial challenges.
“When the women reach 55, we’ll help them transition to appropriate [affordable] seniors housing,” Hudson said.
By getting the women into a permanent home it keeps them out of transition housing, freeing up important spots, another element of the housing continuum spoken of by the Coalition to End Homelessness.
Past-president Mary Spencer of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was instrumental in the creation of Rosalie’s Village. Spencer served as vice-president and president of the board for seven years.
“Transition housing only lasts a few years, this takes women from over occupied housing,” Spencer said.
“If it wasn’t for [Spencer] we wouldn’t have moved forward,” said Angela Hudson, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island. “Before [Spencer] was president we had a [board and president] that worked wonderfully but couldn’t agree on the viability of the daycare.”
Spencer saw the practicality of the daycare, as it gives the mothers the ability to study and pursue education or re-enter the workforce.
“[Rosalie’s] also integrates the women, as elders, on the same floor as the mothers and children,” said Spencer.
“This provides a multigenerational hand up, the mothers are lifted up, and the children are lifted up,” Haynes said.
Funding for Rosalie’s Village is ongoing as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Vancouver Island is still raising part of the $1.3 million it pledged in cash donations. Visit rosaliesvillage.ca for more information.