Modular housing not unlike this rendering of a 46-unit supportive housing project slated for Chilliwack could be becoming to Saanich after it has offered land near Municipal Hall. (Submitted)

Saanich offers land for housing for the homeless

Unclear many units of supportive housing the province will build in Saanich

The municipality of Saanich is offering land near Municipal Hall for BC Housing to build modular supportive for those experiencing, or at risk of homelessness.

It is not clear how many units of supportive housing the province might grant on the site near Saanich Fire Hall No. 1 on Vernon Avenue.

RELATED: BC Housing offers help for Saanich supportive housing

Mayor Richard Atwell said he brought the motion to council June 21, offering up land the municipality owns for supportive housing.

“We are hopeful that by providing this land, we’re moving in the right direction to secure housing and satisfy some of the need for housing in this region,” Atwell said.

RELATED: West Shore RCMP block entrance to Goldstream Park, expected to evict all campers Thursday morning

Paul Thorkelsson, Saanich chief administrative officer, added staff and [council] remain committed to a “compassionate and dignified approach to providing support for people experiencing homelessness in our community.”

Provincial officials are currently evaluating the site and expect surveying work to be completed soon.

RELATED: Woman arrested as Saanich Police tape off Hwy 17 tent city

Thursday’s announcement comes exactly one week after Saanich Police forced the closure of the homeless camp in Regina Park following a court ruling and at least two months after the municipality received an offer of support from the province under its supportive housing project.

Some of the camp’s residents landed in Goldstream Park, where they found themselves in a stand-off with West Shore RCMP, following their expulsion from Saanich Tuesday.

RELATED: Victoria’s roving tent city moves to Goldstream campground

In a release, the municipality of Saanich said it will continue to work on the land offer with the provincial government, exploring options for social housing and other solutions.

“Saanich is not in a position to fund or develop new housing solutions on its own,” the release said.

Temporary overnight sheltering from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. is also available in 102 Saanich parks, with some restrictions, for people experiencing homelessness.


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