Nanaimo - 250 Terminal Avenue – Affordable Rental and Supportive Housing

Illustration of Housing


250 Terminal Avenue is currently the home of Newcastle Place. This temporary supportive housing is operated by Island Crisis Care Society.

BC Housing owns this site and proposes to build approximately 50 new permanent purpose-built supportive homes.

In the longer term, affordable rental homes will also be built on site. These will be homes for families, seniors and people with disabilities. There will be about 40 homes.

Depending on community discussion and review of the building placement, rezoning may be required.

We want to continue the conversation about the housing at 250 Terminal Avenue with the community. We will reach out to discuss the next steps in the process and provide opportunities for further engagement.

What is supportive housing?

Supportive housing provides secure homes with support services to allow residents to shift to a more stable and healthy life. Staff will be onsite 24/7.

All residents will:

  • Currently live in Nanaimo
  • Apply to live in the building
  • Pay rent
  • Sign a program agreement (like a tenancy agreement)

Island Crisis Care Society would manage day-to-day operations of the supportive housing. They will provide supports to residents. Supports could include medical, mental health, life skills, and addictions services, as well as food and laundry.

An operator has not yet been selected for the affordable housing.

Virtual Neighbourhood Meeting

BC Housing and its partners hosted online virtual neighbourhood meetings on July 30, 2020 to share information about the plan for 250 Terminal Ave., answer questions and collect community feedback with the public. Please view video recording of the event below.


Please send your questions and comments through the Q&A tool at the bottom of the page or by email to communityrelations@bchousing.org. We welcome your feedback.

Community Advisory Committee

A Newcastle Community Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Island Crisis Care Society is currently operating for the existing housing, with representatives from BC Housing, Island Health, the City of Nanaimo, community partners and community members. CACs are a great way to work together to successfully integrate the new buildings and residents into the community. The existing CAC would pause after Newcastle residents are relocated and would resume once the new purpose-built permanent supportive housing is closer to opening.



250 Terminal Avenue is currently the home of Newcastle Place. This temporary supportive housing is operated by Island Crisis Care Society.

BC Housing owns this site and proposes to build approximately 50 new permanent purpose-built supportive homes.

In the longer term, affordable rental homes will also be built on site. These will be homes for families, seniors and people with disabilities. There will be about 40 homes.

Depending on community discussion and review of the building placement, rezoning may be required.

We want to continue the conversation about the housing at 250 Terminal Avenue with the community. We will reach out to discuss the next steps in the process and provide opportunities for further engagement.

What is supportive housing?

Supportive housing provides secure homes with support services to allow residents to shift to a more stable and healthy life. Staff will be onsite 24/7.

All residents will:

  • Currently live in Nanaimo
  • Apply to live in the building
  • Pay rent
  • Sign a program agreement (like a tenancy agreement)

Island Crisis Care Society would manage day-to-day operations of the supportive housing. They will provide supports to residents. Supports could include medical, mental health, life skills, and addictions services, as well as food and laundry.

An operator has not yet been selected for the affordable housing.

Virtual Neighbourhood Meeting

BC Housing and its partners hosted online virtual neighbourhood meetings on July 30, 2020 to share information about the plan for 250 Terminal Ave., answer questions and collect community feedback with the public. Please view video recording of the event below.


Please send your questions and comments through the Q&A tool at the bottom of the page or by email to communityrelations@bchousing.org. We welcome your feedback.

Community Advisory Committee

A Newcastle Community Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Island Crisis Care Society is currently operating for the existing housing, with representatives from BC Housing, Island Health, the City of Nanaimo, community partners and community members. CACs are a great way to work together to successfully integrate the new buildings and residents into the community. The existing CAC would pause after Newcastle residents are relocated and would resume once the new purpose-built permanent supportive housing is closer to opening.


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  • Q5 – This is BC Housing’s proposal for development and their responsibility to provide the information for how this will fit into the clearly defined official community plan. Your correspondence states – “BC Housing hosted a poll where the public (17 responses in total) provided input on whether to place the supportive housing on the north or south side of the site at 250 Terminal Avenue”. This is not completely accurate as the complex used by Newcastle Place is actually 6 lots with 250 being the middle two. Is this to be understood as the supportive housing building will be on the north side of lot 250 Terminal. BC Housing considers this poll as “engagement” and appears to be binding based on the pictures provided with this correspondence. If we are at the public engagement stage, should there not be a fully transparent public application for consideration. We are being asked to vote on conceptual pictures with very limited options which may or may not address any needs. Will you provide detailed and transparent information for what BC Housing proposes, as well as detailed rational for why it fits the needs for housing and long term benefit to the Newcastle Neighborhood?

    Darrel Gyorfi asked 16 days ago

    BC Housing are guided by the Official Community Plan and Newcastle + Brechin Neighbourhood Plan at every step of the development and design process. The final proposal will meet zoning requirements and be subject to approval from the City of Nanaimo staff and City council. All aspects of the design (such as building height, setbacks etc) will be subject to final approval by the City of Nanaimo who will review the design for compliance with all requirements including the OCP and zoning.

    We are at the beginning of a long development process. Once we have input from the community on the footprint of the building, we will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), inviting contractors or builders to tender for the job.   

    Next, if a builder wins the contract, they work with the BC Housing development team to come up with a more detailed site design. This is where feedback already provided to BC Housing by the community can be incorporated as appropriate. At that stage, with the more detailed site plan to hand, we would re-engage with the community. Engagement during the zoning process will include at least one community information session hosted by BC Housing. A conceptual design will also be included through the rezoning application and more detailed design and layout will be available during the Development Permit Process. Engagement may also include polls or surveys as well as meetings with stakeholder groups and community associations.       

  • Q4 - The presence of Newcastle Place has attracted a high level of crime to our neighborhood including: thefts, stolen property, drug use and trafficking, public urination and defecation, sexual acts and general nuisance, that was not the case prior to Newcastle Place opening. Security measures within that complex are lax at best and the presence of security guards outside are not sufficient to reduce crime in our neighborhood. Security must be considered in the design and planning stage. What security measures have been designed into this build that will specifically reduce crime in the Newcastle neighborhood (not only this building) or at least bring it to a level prior to Newcastle place opening?

    Darrel Gyorfi asked 16 days ago

    The safety of the residents, staff and the surrounding community is our priority.  

    All new BCH Supportive Housing projects have extensive security measures including security cameras and follow CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) an approach which works to deter criminal behaviour and nuisance activity through environmental design. This approach includes; 

    1. Territoriality: a design concept that clearly delineates private space from semipublic and public spaces and also creates a sense of ownership. 
    2. Natural surveillance: the design and placement of physical features to maximize visibility. For example, building orientation, windows, entrances and exits, walkways, guard gates, landscaping, trees and shrubs, fences or walls, signage and other physical obstructions. Good standards of nighttime lighting is also a standard.   
    3. Access Control: which aims to decrease criminal accessibility. This is including: gates, lighting, landscaping, fences, walls and locks. 
    4. Activity Support: placing safe activities in spaces to discourage would be offenders and increase the natural surveillance 
    5. Maintenance: proper maintenance of the property, fixtures, buildings for example placing lighting in such a way that bulbs can be easily replaced, and shrubs and vegetation do not obstruct light from intended target areas or interfere with sight lines. 


    Finally, one of the most important safety features is staffing. Staff will be available onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide support for residents and manage the building. Staff will also be available to respond to any concerns from neighbours. Regular sweeps of the property and the immediate area by staff and residents will help maintain cleanliness. Neighbours will be given a direct contact for the building for any related concerns.   

    The housing operator will ensure that all staff have the appropriate training and skills necessary to support the clients. The required training, as required by BC Housing, includes, but is not limited to crisis prevention training; first Aid/CPR; mental health first aid training; domestic violence and safety planning; substance use awareness and safety training; and trauma-informed training.  

  • Q3 – Removing the commercial space level and considering a compact design on a small building footprint similar to Uplands and Orca Place would have less of a visual impact to the Newcastle neighborhood and may meet current zoning. Is it possible to provide options for such a building for this site?

    Darrel Gyorfi asked 16 days ago

    The site at 250 Terminal Avenue needs to be rezoned regardless of the inclusion of commercial unit. The commercial unit is proposed to be 1000 sq ft in size and on the ground floor of the supportive housing complex and is consistent with the Neighbourhood Plan.

  • Q2 – There is no demonstrated need for commercial space in a “supportive housing” building and most similar buildings, including Uplands and Orca Place, do not have commercial space. The presence of Newcastle Place tenants, visitors and friends has attracted a high level of crime to our neighborhood and contributed to several restaurants and businesses closing as well as causing financial hardship for other businesses. Why is commercial space being considered for this building specifically and how will it benefit the Newcastle Neighborhood?

    Darrel Gyorfi asked 16 days ago

    Commercial (retail, office or community non-profit use) space on the ground floor of the supportive building aligns with the Newcastle + Brechin Neighbourhood Plan for Terminal Avenue North. Creating a mixed used corridor with commercial space on the ground floor diversifies the use of the building in line with the Neighbourhood Plan and Official Community Plan.  

  • Q1 – BC Housing asserts a need for “supportive housing” and has funding in place to build it. Funding for the “affordable housing” component is not yet approved and considering the current economic situation, there is no guarantee that it will be either requested or approved. There is very little information put forward as well as considering the disastrous effect Newcastle Place has had on the Newcastle Neighborhood, why are both buildings put forward as planned at this stage?

    Darrel Gyorfi asked 16 days ago

    The redevelopment of 250 Terminal Avenue is part of a MOU with the City of Nanaimo to provide both supportive and affordable housing. The supportive homes are being built in response to the urgent need to provide homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Nanaimo.  As the longer-term vision for the site includes affordable housing, the rezoning application this fall will cover the full site. This will allow BC Housing to proceed with clearing the full site and planning for both housing types.

  • Just how did a Temporary Supportive Housing turn into a permanent structure housing 50 people? I would have definitely Voted Against this proposal had I been given the opportunity.

    RobinM asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your note.

    BC Housing previously purchased a property at 250 Terminal Ave to provide temporary workforce modular housing in response to a crisis situation, and as part of an urgent need to provide housing and support services to those struggling with homelessness in Nanaimo, including those who were residing at the 1 Port Drive encampment downtown. This was an interim solution while BC Housing and the City continued to work together to identify more opportunities to increase the supply of permanent supportive housing and affordable rental housing in Nanaimo.

    The proposed plan will see the current temporary workforce modular buildings removed (Newcastle Place), with the intent of redeveloping the site into new permanent, purpose-built supportive modular housing with approximately 50 homes for people experiencing homelessness in the community. Island Crisis Care Society will operate this new building.

    We have been engaging with the community on this development for over a year. We welcome any additional feedback.


  • Is there going ti be more neighbourhood policing out in place to monitor the residents? Presently we have homeless people urinating in our undercover parking, breaking into vehicles and going through our garbages.

    Newcastleresident asked about 1 month ago

    All sites will have security hired for the initial launch to ensure operations run smoothly. This security is not permanent and would be removed after the initial start up period. Our experience with purpose-built, permanent housing has shown that permanent security is not required due to the ongoing security features that come with the permanent supportive housing. Once people move into their new homes, they are no longer homeless. These new homes with supports provided on-site creates an opportunity for people to leave the streets and shelter system for safe and stable housing, working towards improved quality of life.  

    The most important security feature, both for residents and the community, is staffing. The new building would have staff onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that residents are supported and that any neighbourhood concerns are addressed in the timely manner. In addition, the following design features will be in place to ensure safety for both residents and the community: 

    • Experienced non-profit housing operators will be hired to manage the buildings. 
    • Each site will be fenced with one main point of access, there will be security systems throughout the site to monitor activities, and the entire site will be lit at night from lights on each building – all important aspects to ensure the operator can track and manage visitors to the site. 
    • Residents would be selected based on ability of staff to provide the right level of support to all. 
    • Property maintenance will include regular sweeps of the property and immediate area to ensure cleanliness. 
    • Residents will sign program agreements around expectations for behaviour and being a good neighbour. 
    • Each site will have a Community Advisory Committee to mitigate and address any related concerns that come forward, with representation from BC Housing, City Staff including Bylaws, 
    • Vancouver Island Health Authority, RCMP, local businesses, community organizations and community members. 


    There will be a 24/7 phone number available for neighbours to contact the housing operator if required to ensure prompt response.  

  • When is the construction of this project going to start.

    Maria asked 3 months ago

    Construction will be underway this summer with a view to be operational in spring of 2022.

  • I live in the Boundary project, and have found it difficult to live here the last 4+ years. Here we have a floor for women and two floors for supportive housing. This mixture of people creates an unhealthy community, specifically people living clean lifestyles, who also have mental health issues. I can't leave either, because if I did there would be no appropriate housing for me to move to. With the renovation of 250 Terminal, I am concerned that building both supportive and affordable housing together will create the same issues that the Boundary Project currently has. I would suggest having this site develop affordable, clean housing for people with disabilities. There are other lots in Nanaimo to build supportive housing. Also, with all the supportive housing being developed, I would also suggest developing more detox and treatment beds here in Nanaimo. Housing is a good step to providing choices to our residents, and expanding services is also essential.

    Lori Thomas asked 8 months ago

    The proposed purpose-built supportive housing units will be for residents of Nanaimo who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, including seniors, families, and/or people with disabilities.  

    Most residents of the new supportive housing will be coming from the existing temporary housing developments at 250 Terminal and 2020 Labieux and are therefore already established residents in the area. 

    Every potential resident is considered on an individual basis to ensure that the housing and services provided by the program match the support services they have self-identified and need, such as life skills training, employment assistance, and help with accessing a range of social and health care services. We are pleased to hear from Island Crisis Care Society, the non-profit operator for the temporary supportive housing currently at Newcastle Place at 250 Terminal Ave, that there has been close to an 80% uptake on services since opening. This means that 80% of program participants have moved forward with some sort of treatment plan during their time, including detox and substance use treatment, mental health treatment and other supportive services. 

    The affordable rental housing will be a future development following the development of the new supportive housing – which is anticipated to will be in operation in early 2022. The affordable rental housing would be similar to any other form of multiple family housing with the only difference being rents are geared to the tenant’s income. Affordable housing will be available for families, seniors, students or single adults.  

  • Hello, I’d like to be notified about the meeting on July 30 please. I am a resident on Vancouver Ave.

    KMain asked about 1 year ago

    On July 30th, BC Housing, Island Crisis Care Society and community partners will host a virtual neighbourhood meeting regarding the proposed permanent, purpose-built supportive housing at 250 Terminal Avenue N. 

    There will be two sessions: 10:30am-12:00pm or 7:00-8:30pm. Registration information is available online at https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/nanaimo-250-terminal-ave.  Please register for the time slot of your preference.