Nanaimo - 285 Prideaux Street – Supportive Housing

Illustrative image of supportive housing


285 Prideaux Street (Community Services Building) is owned by the City of Nanaimo. A portion of the existing Community Services Building will be used as a COVID-19 emergency response centre starting Summer 2020. The proposal is to build approximately 50 new permanent homes with supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Nanaimo. The city will work with the community organizations who lease space in the building to meet their needs elsewhere in the community. BC Housing will request a long-term lease for the site from the City of Nanaimo.

All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing. Nanaimo Region John Howard Society, an experienced local provider, will operate the site and provide supports to tenants. Supports include medical and mental health and addictions services, as well as food, laundry and security. All residents will pay rent.

Virtual Neighbourhood Meeting

BC Housing and its partners hosted online virtual neighbourhood meetings on August 12, to share information about the plan for 258 Prideaux Street, answer questions and collect community feedback with the public. Please view video recording of the event below.


You can also view the presentation from the neighbourhood meeting, and send questions and feedback through the Q&A tool below. We welcome your feedback.

Community Advisory Committee

We will be looking at setting up a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) with representatives from BC Housing, the housing operator, other partners, community organizations and community members. We will also be working with established neighbourhood associations and organizations to successfully integrate the new buildings and residents into the community.



285 Prideaux Street (Community Services Building) is owned by the City of Nanaimo. A portion of the existing Community Services Building will be used as a COVID-19 emergency response centre starting Summer 2020. The proposal is to build approximately 50 new permanent homes with supports for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Nanaimo. The city will work with the community organizations who lease space in the building to meet their needs elsewhere in the community. BC Housing will request a long-term lease for the site from the City of Nanaimo.

All new supportive housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing. Nanaimo Region John Howard Society, an experienced local provider, will operate the site and provide supports to tenants. Supports include medical and mental health and addictions services, as well as food, laundry and security. All residents will pay rent.

Virtual Neighbourhood Meeting

BC Housing and its partners hosted online virtual neighbourhood meetings on August 12, to share information about the plan for 258 Prideaux Street, answer questions and collect community feedback with the public. Please view video recording of the event below.


You can also view the presentation from the neighbourhood meeting, and send questions and feedback through the Q&A tool below. We welcome your feedback.

Community Advisory Committee

We will be looking at setting up a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) with representatives from BC Housing, the housing operator, other partners, community organizations and community members. We will also be working with established neighbourhood associations and organizations to successfully integrate the new buildings and residents into the community.


Thank you for your interest in this project. Answers will be posted the week of Monday, October 26, 2020.

Have a question or comment? Please write below.

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  • How many residents attended the virtual meeting?

    Gord Fuller asked about 1 month ago

    BC Housing, the City of Nanaimo and their partners have held two virtual meetings for the proposed development at 285 Prideaux Street. There were 20 individuals who participated.  

  • You spoke of services available but did not indicate how many are available immediately. How many rehab beds are available right now if someone were to want to get clear of an addiction?

    Kathleen asked 2 months ago

    Hi Kathleen, thanks for joining the discussion. Just to clarify, supportive housing provides permanent homes with supports to connect people to the resources they need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. That could include daily meals, treatment, employment and life-skills programming, and other supports. 

    BC Housing and the non-profit operators partner with Island Health to ensure staff are regularly onsite to provide a range of inpatient and outpatient services to building residents including mental health and substance use, including treatment services, primary care and public health services if residents which to utilize those services. Services and referrals will be provided both onsite as well as appropriate referrals to off-site services.

    The permanent supportive housing developments are not rehabilitation or detox centres. Island Health provides access to referrals to mental health and substance use services. For more information, please visit https://www.islandhealth.ca/our-services/mental-health-substance-use-services/access-referrals-mental-health-substance-use-services/referrals-nanaimo-mental-health-substance-use

  • When will the video be up?

    Gord Fuller asked 2 months ago

    Hello Gord, 

    The 285 Prideaux virtual meeting has been posted: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/nanaimo-285-prideaux-street

  • The concentration of sites to the south end is too excessive and should be spread out to other areas. There is an imbalance when compared to areas like North Nanaimo and the hospital district that have more access to appropriate services. I feel the locations of sites are intended to capitalize on the powerlessness of already burdened low income and vulnerable existing residents of South Nanaimo while then to sidestepping any conflicts with the advantaged and priviledged residents that characterize north and central areas of Nanaimo. This harmful and unfair and does not create community or share resources or supports within Nanaimo as a whole - it only deepens the divide and encourages prejudice and contempt between the North and South sides of the city. The plan is harmful to our community and culture.

    patw asked 2 months ago

    We are proposing a major investment in housing with the development of approximately 50 new permanent homes with supports at 285 Prideaux Street for those who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo. These are members of the community – including seniors, and/or people with disabilities.

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on proximity to transit, access to amenities, and availability of sites. After considering a range of sites across Nanaimo, the four supportive housing sites selected under the Memorandum of Understanding were the best options available. There were limited options available for purchase that met the necessary criteria within the North End at this time. However, there are currently other supportive housing developments in the North, including Uplands Walk, Boundary Crescent, Rosstown Road and Waddington. We continue to look at future available sites throughout the city.

    Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they currently are, and then provide a connection to the resources they need to work towards living a healthy, stable life. There will be on-site supports provided including daily meals, treatment, and employment and life-skills programming. We partner with Island Health to ensure staff are regularly onsite to provide a range of inpatient and outpatient services to building residents. 

    We want to work with the community to ensure successful integration of these new homes. A Community Advisory Committee will be established that will address ongoing community feedback or concerns. We all have a role to play in building a strong, safe and inclusive community and we hope you’ll continue to be part of the discussion as planning progresses. A recording of the virtual neighbourhood meetings that occurred on August 12, 2020 has been posted to this page.  

  • This plan is destructive and disruptive in scale. I live on Prideaux street near the planned site and I am very concerned that this project will destroy the community, culture and character of my neighbourhood. This plan will increase the number of residents on this street from 5-6 to 55-56 - that is incredibly harmful and disruptive to our existing community.

    patw asked 2 months ago

    The building will be permanent supportive housing and the architecture will integrate into the neighbourhood aesthetic. BC Housing and the City of Nanaimo will work to implement design preferences of the community. We can incorporate different architectural styles into the building – there is flexibility and it is not a one size fits all approach. To see some example photos, check out the supportive housing case study overview on our Let’s Talk webpage.

  • Who is answering these questions and why are you not answering any of them? Seems to me like a lot of cut and paste which makes you look foolish. We will have to live with this housing while you are living in Woodgrove.

    gf asked 3 months ago

    Hello, 

    Questions to our Let’s Talk website are responded to by BC Housing’s Community Relations team, with input from our planning and operations teams, as well as with our partners from the City of Nanaimo. It is important to us ensure questions and concerns from the community are being responded to. Do you have a question that has not  yet been answered? Please let us know. You can also send questions to communityrelations@bchousing.org