North Cowichan - 2983 Drinkwater Road

Creating healthy, safe, stable homes for people in North Cowichan

Located at 2983 Drinkwater Road, this new building will offer approximately 50 permanent, purpose-built studio apartments to people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The housing will be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society, an experienced non-profit housing operator that will staff and manage the building 24/7 and provide building residents with support services. These supports include medical health services, mental health and addictions services, food, laundry, and security. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2021.

We recognize this is a new kind of housing in North Cowichan. In order to support the successful integration of the building and tenants into the surrounding community, BC Housing, the City of Duncan and other partners invite the community to explore ways to build an inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity for safe and healthy places to live and work.

Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions

We want to hear from you about how to support the success of supportive housing in the community. BC Housing, the Municipality of North Cowichan, and other partners will be engaging neighbours and the community in small group discussions to explore ideas for how the community can support the success of this new housing. Due to to concerns around COVID-19, BC Housing will be holding small group neighbourhood meetings in a virtual format instead of meeting in person. If you are unable to attend a virtual session, please feel free to reach out to us by email at communityrelations@bchousing.org.

These sessions require registration. Please email communityrelations@bchousing.org with your choice from the sessions listed below:

Tuesday, August 18 – 12:30pm to 2:00pm (virtual session)

Tuesday, August 18 – 4:00pm to 5:30pm (virtual session)

Creating healthy, safe, stable homes for people in North Cowichan

Located at 2983 Drinkwater Road, this new building will offer approximately 50 permanent, purpose-built studio apartments to people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The housing will be operated by Lookout Housing and Health Society, an experienced non-profit housing operator that will staff and manage the building 24/7 and provide building residents with support services. These supports include medical health services, mental health and addictions services, food, laundry, and security. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2021.

We recognize this is a new kind of housing in North Cowichan. In order to support the successful integration of the building and tenants into the surrounding community, BC Housing, the City of Duncan and other partners invite the community to explore ways to build an inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity for safe and healthy places to live and work.

Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions

We want to hear from you about how to support the success of supportive housing in the community. BC Housing, the Municipality of North Cowichan, and other partners will be engaging neighbours and the community in small group discussions to explore ideas for how the community can support the success of this new housing. Due to to concerns around COVID-19, BC Housing will be holding small group neighbourhood meetings in a virtual format instead of meeting in person. If you are unable to attend a virtual session, please feel free to reach out to us by email at communityrelations@bchousing.org.

These sessions require registration. Please email communityrelations@bchousing.org with your choice from the sessions listed below:

Tuesday, August 18 – 12:30pm to 2:00pm (virtual session)

Tuesday, August 18 – 4:00pm to 5:30pm (virtual session)

Please share your ideas for how we can support and build an inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity for a safe and healthy place to live.

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  • How will they differ from others

    Punk Asked about 1 month ago

    The supportive housing on Drinkwater Rd will be self-contained studio homes with supports provided on-site, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. Supports could include outreach workers, life skills training, employment assistance, connection and referral to community services and support groups. All residents would sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement) and would pay rent.  

    Supportive housing is for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with varying health and personal challenges and needs. People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group, and have had different pathways into homelessness, that’s why supportive housing tailors its response to clients, to help them maintain their housing.  

    Lookout Housing & Health Society, which has been providing supportive housing and community services to people experiencing homelessness in the community, will operate the new building on Drinkwater Rd. in North Cowichan.

  • When we look back at the earliest vision for Warmland, it was very similar to this project. How are we guaranteed that this site won’t turn into the mess that warmland has become? Increased crime? Increased drug activity and devastating hits to property values in the surrounding area

    Laura Asked about 1 month ago

    The supportive housing on Drinkwater Road will have up to 50 self-contained purpose-built studio rental homes. Supports will be provided on-site by Lookout Housing & Health, to ensure people can achieve and maintain housing stability. In contrast, shelters operate on a first-come, first-served model, with temporary access to beds where people have to check out each morning, check back in at night and are not guaranteed a bed. Shelter guests do not pay rent and they have to share a room and washroom facilities with other guests. Supportive housing provides long-term, residential units. Residents will be assessed to ensure they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and live a more healthy, stable life. All residents pay rent and sign a program agreement.

    BC Housing, the Municipality of North Cowichan, Lookout Housing & Health Society, and our community partners are working together to create a housing solution for the community. BC Housing and Lookout are committed to being a good neighbour. Supportive housing is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by experienced staff. All residents sign a program agreement in respect to expectations around behaviours.

    BC Housing will be setting up a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) that will oversee the supportive housing’s integration within the community. CACs are a key part of how we ensure that supportive housing buildings integrate well into their neighbourhoods, and our experience is that they have been very effective at helping communities work together to address concerns and endure a positive connection with neighbours. The CAC will bring together the Municipality, BC Housing, the housing operator, service providers, and business and community representatives. 

    Research and analysis on property values surrounding non-market housing has been conducted and suggests non-market housing does not have an impact on surrounding residential property values. In a recent study [https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Property-Values-Case-Study-Overview-Report.pdf], thirteen sites were selected from across B.C. representing a range of BC Housing-funded sites. The report reviews median residential assessed values in the immediate area and neighbourhood and compares to the surrounding municipality. 


  • I would like to know what security measures will be placed for potential addicts using these facilities, and the safety of property for the local neighbours?

    Celine Asked about 1 month ago

    We are building permanent supportive homes in North Cowichan – self-contained studio apartments, with onsite supports provided by 24/7 staff. Supportive housing is for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with varying health and personal challenges and needs. People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. All residents in supportive housing have made a choice to work towards living a healthy, stable life. Residents will be assessed to ensure they are matched with the right level of support services they need to remain housed and live a more healthy, stable life.  

    We take a harm reduction approach, which means staff is available to support any residents who are in various phases of substance use and the building will be set up with the ability to provide a safe consumption space for residents only, to ensure the safety of residents who are active substance users. When tenants are ready to make a change, staff on site will connect them with the appropriate support services.

    BC Housing will be setting up a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) that will oversee the supportive housing’s integration within the community and will address any concerns raised by people in the neighbourhood. CACs are a key part of how we ensure that supportive housing buildings integrate well into their neighbourhoods, and our experience is that they have been very effective at helping communities work together to create a positive connection with neighbours. 

  • When will applications open and what is the application process?

    AndrewW Asked 2 months ago

    Applications for supportive housing will open closer to the building completion. People can apply for these units through the supportive housing registry. 

    BC Housing and Lookout will collaborate with local service providers on a thoughtful and thorough assessment process to ensure an appropriate mix of residents with the right supports live in the housing. Every potential resident is considered on an individual basis to ensure that the housing and services provided by the program match the support services that they need, such as life skills training, employment assistance, and help with accessing a range of social and health care services.