Some of Victoria’s most vulnerable residents will continue calling the Travelodge on Gorge Road home for the rest of the year.
The province announced Wednesday it has extended the lease of the Travelodge until Dec. 31 to ensure residents are not displaced. No new residents will be moved into the facility after the end of March, with the 94 current residents transitioned to other housing options by the end of the year.
“Sending Travelodge residents out to join encampments by closing this temporary facility prematurely is simply not an option,” said David Eby, the minister responsible for housing. “Instead, our plan is that the residents of the Travelodge will be out of this temporary accommodation by the end of the year and into permanent, supportive units.”
BC Housing leased the Travelodge as a temporary solution for those experiencing homelessness, opening the facility in May 2020 to support decampment efforts at Topaz Park and Pandora Avenue. A November 202o fire at the Capital City Centre Hotel resulted in the loss of about 90 supportive housing units in the city, prompting the need to extend the lease at the Travelodge.
BC Housing is working with the Travelodge owner on site improvements including fire safety enhancements, external landscaping and more regular garbage removal. The Victoria Cool Aid Society will continue to operate the Travelodge with staff on site 24/7. BC Housing will continue to engage with the local community, including regular meetings with the community advisory committee and the Burnside Gorge Community Association.
To support the closure of the Travelodge, the province is working in partnership to deliver permanent supportive homes and rental homes for people experiencing homelessness and those who might be at risk of homelessness. The rental homes will be affordable for people with very low incomes. Nearly 360 of these homes have been completed since 2017, and approximately 340 are under construction or in development in the Capital Regional District.
Recently, BC Housing re-activated a 45-bed temporary shelter at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. In addition, the province is partnering with the City of Victoria on its 30-unit Tiny Homes Village at Royal Athletic Park.
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