A collection of housing and care operators have come together on a proposal to create an inclusive neighbourhood in the Nigel Valley area of Saanich.
The five on-site operators providing a variety of supportive housing options at properties on Vernon, Nigel and Darwin avenues near Uptown include BC Housing, Broadmead Care Society, Island Community Mental Health, the Garth Homer Society and the Greater Victoria Housing Society.
The plan is to provide in a larger proposal more housing and densification in that area, said Rick Nelson, director of finance and information systems for Broadmead Care Society.
“BC Housing is leading the charge on behalf of all the players and will be taking a rezoning application to Saanich council,” Nelson explained.
According to information on BC Housing’s website, the five on-site housing and care operators formed a steering committee in February 2015 to investigate a number of redevelopment options for the future of Nigel Valley. Many of the buildings in Nigel Valley require significant investment and repair and do not maximize the site’s housing and care potential. The committee collaborated on a solution it believes will increase the amount of care and housing on site while minimizing the impact revitalization would have on the tenants.
The steering committee’s aim is to “create an inclusive neighbourhood of housing and care that seamlessly integrates a variety of uses to transform lives, offering an environment for all and a hub of social activity which connects with the wider community.”
BC Housing launched a formal consultation in 2016 with neighbourhood stakeholders, adjacent property owners and residents, wider community association member populations and the general public.
Tenants and on-site clients are being consulted and given priority consideration regarding the proposed redevelopment.
The Broadmead Care Society already has an agreement in principle to replace the current 26-bed Nigel House and the 15-bed Harriet House with a new 41-resident complex care home for clients with medical, mental health and behavioural issues.
A media release from the Capital Regional Hospital District indicated that the CRHD board has directed staff to submit a request to Health Minister Terry Lake asking that Nigel House be designated as a health facility. Nigel House must be designated as a health facility by the minister of health to enable consideration for funding.
The CRHD is a corporation of the Capital Regional District that partners with Island Health and community stakeholder agencies to develop and improve healthcare facilities in the region, including replacing buildings that have reached the end of their economic and functional life.