News Release

VICTORIA, BC – (March 5th, 2021) – In less than 3 months time, the citizens and local businesses of Victoria have come together to raise more than $500,000 to fund the capital expenses for 30 transitional housing units to be built from repurposed shipping containers. Set to be located at 940 Caledonia Ave., this tiny home community will provide safe, warm and secure conditions for some of our community’s most vulnerable currently sheltering outside, unhoused.

“This is the vision and commitment we have been looking for in Victoria, thank you so much for bringing help and dignity to our street populations,” said one anonymous donor. “I hope housing for the homeless is changed forever by this pandemic in a positive way; everyone deserves a roof over their head and food in their belly, ” said another.

“I want to sincerely thank everyone who has donated to this project, whether it is $25 or $25,000,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “At this time when there is so much division around the issue of homelessness and some vocal stigma against people who are poor and living without homes in our community, it is amazing and so hopeful to see our community come together to pitch in and build homes for their neighbours.”

Once built, the transitional tiny home community will be operated by Our Place, an experienced housing provider focused on addressing the residents’ physical, mental health, addiction, housing, income and employment needs on their pathway to permanent housing.

Each unit in the community is approximately 100 sq. ft. and is fully heated, ventilated and insulated for optimal breathability and livability. Designed to include a bed, side table, desk with chair, small fridge, and an armoire, all units are move-in ready and turn-key for the residents. Shared washroom and shower facilities will be located within the enclosed community, along with storage, flex space and on-site office space for the 24/7 operations staff.

“I want to express my profound appreciation to the many members of our amazing Greater Victoria community that have supported the fundraising efforts for the Tiny Homes Project,” said Kelly Roth, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.  “The ‘Hey Neighbour’ project has provided the opportunity to demonstrate that Victoria is a place where everyone belongs and all are welcome,” said Roth.

Aryze Developments has proceeded to submit the Temporary Use Permit application, with support from Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. Yesterday Council unanimously voted to send Hey Neighbour to Public Hearing on March 18th, which is the final step in authorizing the Temporary Use Permit.

“As homebuilders, we have a responsibility to provide diverse housing solutions for all citizens – especially our community’s most vulnerable,” said Luke Mari of Aryze Developments. “Thanks to the generous community contributions over the last few months, we are honoured to be moving into our traditional role as constructor, so the experienced team at Our Place can bring this innovative concept to life.”

 

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For More Information:

Clare Pugh, Communications Coordinator, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness

Unit 211 – 611 Discovery St.

Victoria, BC V8T 5G4

250-507-7903

Communications@victoriahomelessness.ca

 

Melanie Ransome, Communications Manager, Aryze Developments

1839 Fairfield Rd.

Victoria, BC, V8S 1G9

(250) 661-2619

melanie@aryze.ca

In Crisis?:

If you require urgent emotional support, including having thoughts of suicide and other mental health issues, please call Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888.

Youth (under 25 years of age) may access youthspace.ca for online emotional support.

For other resources, including shelter availability, visit bc211.ca