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50 units of safe housing coming to the West Shore for women, children fleeing violence

The project will be operated by the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society
The province and the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society announced 50 new safe housing units in Langford for women and children fleeing violence. (Victoria Women’s Transition House Society)

Women and children fleeing violence will soon have 50 new, safe homes available to them on the West Shore, thanks to a partnership between B.C. Housing and the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society.

The homes will be in a four-storey building now under construction and will include two transition spaces and 48 second-stage homes for women and gender-diverse people, including transgender women, Two-Spirit and non-binary people, and their dependant children leaving violence on the West Shore and surrounding areas, according to a news release.

Both types of units will provide short-term accommodation and on-site supports. Transition guests typically stay for one month, while second-stage guests typically live in the units for six to 24 months before moving into permanent housing. It will be operated by Victoria Women’s Transition House Society.

“These homes will allow women and children on the West Shore, to find a safe haven where they can begin to rebuild their lives with the supports and services they need,” said Premier John Horgan, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca, in a statement. “Our government is committed to helping survivors by building safer, more supportive communities, free of abuse and violence.”

Rent for the second-stage units will be calculated as 30 per cent of the resident’s income or the provincial shelter rate for those receiving income or disability assistance. Transition guests will not be charged rent as those units are intended to provide an immediate safe space.

Construction is set to be complete by fall 2024, and the project is part of the province’s multi-year action plan to help end gender-based violence, and a part of the province’s 10-year housing plan. Since 2017, the plan has funded more than 36,000 affordable homes that are either complete or underway for people in B.C., including nearly 230 homes on the West Shore.

“This is an important support service to have in Langford, and I am pleased that after many years of working together, we can now see this project come to life,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young in the Nov. 4 announcement. “Everyone should have the right to a safe environment and to feel supported by their community. The Victoria Women’s Transition House Society’s second-stage transition house in Langford will help those in need, not only in Langford but throughout the West Shore. I am grateful to everyone who has worked so diligently on this important project to ensure it becomes a reality.”

READ MORE: Housing affordability to improve in 2023, with some regional disparities: Desjardins

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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