Saanich – 2933 & 2949 Albina Street

Illustrative infographic with building and stats.  280+ permanent supportive homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Capital region.


BC Housing is working with the Capital Regional District on a plan to build approximately 52 homes with support services in Saanich.

With this design, priority will be given to people at risk of homelessness in the Saanich region; many of these people have been living successfully in temporary shelters.

This development is part of an ongoing commitment, working closely with the District of Saanich, to build housing solutions for those in need and is one of six new projects that will deliver more than 280 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness across the Capital region.

Housing with Supports

Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with various support services provided on-site, to help people achieve and maintain housing stability. Supports could include:

  • outreach workers
  • life skills training
  • employment assistance
  • connection and referral to community services and support groups.

Staff would be on-site 24/7 working with each resident to understand their needs and goals.

Applicants will go through an assessment process to make sure there is a mix of residents with the right supports. All residents will pay rent and sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement).

Development Process

BC Housing and the local municipalities agree it is necessary to expedite the process to provide permanent supportive homes as soon as possible for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We are taking this approach because we recognize our most vulnerable citizens are facing distinct risk through the COVID-19 pandemic and there is an immediate need in the Capital region to provide permanent supportive homes as soon as possible.

This means moving forward as efficiently as possible to create new healthy, safe and stable homes for those in need of housing. Therefore, BC Housing will be moving straight to the construction phase. BC Housing is working closely with the municipalities throughout the development process.

Community Engagement

We will be engaging the community at various points throughout the development and setting up a community advisory committee to support future operations.

Community dialogue sessions

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback, we hosted two Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions in May 2021. During these sessions, we shared information about this project, heard from the community about how we can work together to integrate this housing into the community, and how this housing will support people in the community who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Due to COVID-19, meetings took place virtually. For privacy, these sessions were not recorded, however the PowerPoint presentation can be viewed below:

Your feedback and comments are important to us

We welcome questions and comments below in the Q&A tool or by email to communityrelations@bchousing.org.


BC Housing is working with the Capital Regional District on a plan to build approximately 52 homes with support services in Saanich.

With this design, priority will be given to people at risk of homelessness in the Saanich region; many of these people have been living successfully in temporary shelters.

This development is part of an ongoing commitment, working closely with the District of Saanich, to build housing solutions for those in need and is one of six new projects that will deliver more than 280 permanent supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness across the Capital region.

Housing with Supports

Supportive housing is a self-contained studio home with various support services provided on-site, to help people achieve and maintain housing stability. Supports could include:

  • outreach workers
  • life skills training
  • employment assistance
  • connection and referral to community services and support groups.

Staff would be on-site 24/7 working with each resident to understand their needs and goals.

Applicants will go through an assessment process to make sure there is a mix of residents with the right supports. All residents will pay rent and sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement).

Development Process

BC Housing and the local municipalities agree it is necessary to expedite the process to provide permanent supportive homes as soon as possible for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We are taking this approach because we recognize our most vulnerable citizens are facing distinct risk through the COVID-19 pandemic and there is an immediate need in the Capital region to provide permanent supportive homes as soon as possible.

This means moving forward as efficiently as possible to create new healthy, safe and stable homes for those in need of housing. Therefore, BC Housing will be moving straight to the construction phase. BC Housing is working closely with the municipalities throughout the development process.

Community Engagement

We will be engaging the community at various points throughout the development and setting up a community advisory committee to support future operations.

Community dialogue sessions

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback, we hosted two Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions in May 2021. During these sessions, we shared information about this project, heard from the community about how we can work together to integrate this housing into the community, and how this housing will support people in the community who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Due to COVID-19, meetings took place virtually. For privacy, these sessions were not recorded, however the PowerPoint presentation can be viewed below:

Your feedback and comments are important to us

We welcome questions and comments below in the Q&A tool or by email to communityrelations@bchousing.org.

Questions or comments? Please add below.

Guidelines for constructive and respectful dialogue

  • Please ensure your question is clear, concise, relevant to the project, and respectful.
  • Review our moderation policy. Questions that do not abide by the moderation policy or guidelines for respectful dialogue may not be answered.
  • We expect everyone will refrain from using language or acting in a way that is discriminating, threatening, abusive, racist or otherwise disrespectful. Discrimination or abusive language of any kind will not be tolerated.
  • Your question will appear once our team has answered it. If your question has already been answered, we may respond privately.
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  • I live very close to the "supportive" housing at 291 Regina Avenue. After a LOT of searching on the internet, I was able to confirm that the usage of the building changed some years ago; it used to be for people recovering/living with significant mental health challenges, and has since changed to housing people who are "straight off the street, doing drugs". I am always nervous walking by the building. The residents are not very well managed and I have had them yelling at me multiple times when I walked by. A few weeks ago a woman threw her bicycle in to the busy traffic on Tillicum Road while screaming. When she retrieved it, she continued screaming to "call the cops again" before walking in to the building. About a week ago there was another resident yelling in a threatening way while a mother with two young children were walking down the sidewalk (and then desperately waiting for the light at the pedestrian controlled intersection to change so they could get away to a safer area). There are police parked outside the building several times a week, and ambulances a couple times a month. My question is, how is this a good fit for ANY community? I understand that stability in terms of having your basic needs met (shelter/food/etc) is required for recovery from substance abuse - but there is no reason for the residents of this building to stop using the substances they use. They are allowed to live there regardless and go out and terrorize the local community. It may seem old fashioned, but I think some of the ways we used to do things were superior, such as locked facilities. Instead of paying to have these people housed and continuing to engage in illegal activity to support their addictions (and terrorizing the community as a result), we should first pay for them to go to locked treatment facilities where they can go through the withdrawal/detox, learn some other coping strategies, and then move on to supportive housing, with the understanding that they will go back to the other facility if they partake in further illegal activities. Has building/reopening a facility of this kind to reduce the impact on neighbourhoods been considered?

    ReginaResident asked about 2 months ago

    Individuals at risk of experiencing or experiencing homelessness are already a part of the community and many have lived there for years. Removing people from their community and into an institution to treat mental health and addiction does not increase the chance of success in stabilizing their lives. 

    Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are, providing connection to the resources that people need to work towards living a healthy, stable life.  Access to community services and transit is key for people without homes, but so is feeling part of a neighbourhood.  

    It’s also important to note that not everyone who moves into supportive housing will use alcohol or drugs, nor do they all require support for substance use. They are members of the community who may be seniors, people who are employed but are unable to afford housing, or people with disabilities.

    People without homes are often only able to focus on basic survival needs. By housing people, we increase the likelihood they will succeed in stabilizing their lives. Once someone moves into supportive housing, they are no longer homeless, and can focus on improving their well-being.


  • The temporary housing at the Travel Lodge has resulted in increased violent crime, noise, disturbances, debris and general disorder in the area. Businesses like the liquor store have been forced to close as customers and staff don’t feel safe. Many of the residents who BC Housing claim have been “successfully living in hotels” will be coming to Albina. This will transplant the many issues neighbours of the Travel Lodge, VicPD and residents of the Travel Lodge themselves have documented with the housing first model to Albina street. What lessons, if any, is BC Housing and partners going to take from the Travel Lodge experience to make new projects more successful for everyone involved? How will you protect long established businesses like Fairway Market from the impacts of being in close proximity to supportive housing. Neighbours appreciate that not all people in supportive housing have issues with mental health and addiction. But it would be helpful if BC Housing acknowledged that some do and that this has a negative impact on the neighbourhood and businesses. What is the policy for weapons, drug use and noise disturbances like bear bangers in the Albina housing units? What about residents who require complex care that housing alone can’t address? What rent will residents pay a month and how is this different than the Travel Lodge model? Everyone wants this project to be successful, and this starts with learning from past mistakes- or does BC Housing consider the Travel Lodge a success story?

    Interested asked 2 months ago

    There is an urgent need to house people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. Point-in-time homeless counts in 2020 found there are over 1,500 people experiencing homelessness in the city.   

    Street homelessness isn’t working for anyone – not for those who are homeless, and not for the community. That’s why we’re taking urgent action to bring people inside, so that they can get the supports they need to begin their recovery journey.   

    The leased temporary hotels were a crisis response where there was no assessment of residents prior to housing. The majority of people came directly from tent encampments and had not been stabilized, and the leased hotels do not have a single point of access.  

    Purpose-built supportive housing is different. Residents will go through an assessment process for each individual; these buildings will be designed with the neighbourhood aesthetic in mind and incorporate supportive housing best practices (single point of entry, common amenity space, security features).  

    People who live in supportive housing may be seniors, people with disabilities, people who have employment but no housing, or people who are working through mental health concerns and/or substance use. 

    Every potential resident will be 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. 

    Offers of tenancy are made following meetings held by BC Housing’s Coordinated Access Table where services including BC Housing, Island Health, the CRD and other community partners and service providers assess applicants for suitability. Suitability considers vulnerability in the community, neighbourhood considerations, accessibility to services, the housing operators’ experience and mandates - all in the interest of creating a balanced mix tenancy that will support successful operation and tenancies.  

    We all want safe neighbourhoods, and we hear your concerns. The safety of residents, staff and the surrounding community is a priority. The most important security feature, both for residents and the community, is staffing. The building would have staff onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that residents are supported and that any concerns are addressed in the timely manner. 

  • How will the community be able to access real time and ongoing support if there are concerns regarding the facilities or residents?

    Kristielyn asked 4 months ago

    We all want safe neighbourhoods. The safety of residents, staff and the surrounding community is a priority. 

    This supportive housing will have 24/7 staffing to support residents and be available to address concerns that might come up.  BC Housing and the operator will reach out to the neighbours prior to opening to ensure that they have information needed to contact the appropriate organizations if concerns arise. 

    This would be a purpose-built property and security measures would include well-lit and fenced grounds, extensive camera monitoring and a controlled single point of entry. Just like any other residence, if there are concerns with specific individuals, the housing operator will work with those individuals on solutions. All residents sign agreements regarding appropriate and respectful behaviour as it relates to health and safety of themselves, other tenants and neighbours, and they are expected to abide by it. All tenants also pay rent. 

    We are proposing the establishment of a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to support the successful integration of the new homes into the neighbourhood and community, with representation from BC Housing, Island Health, RCMP, BIA/Chamber, any relevant community partners such as school district, service providers and community members at large. 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.

  • Hello. Please tell me what is the cost of each unit per year/ month is. From just the unit to with the total supportive services . This question will come up again please answer the question

    Pw asked 4 months ago

    We have not completed the project, and we do not have a final budget, so are unable to confirm how much the building cost and deliver a breakdown for the facility. 

    However, it is worth noting that it is estimated that approximately half of the value generated through dedicated-site supportive housing returns to the government in cost reallocations due to decreased use of services such as emergency health services, justice services, hospital services, child welfare services, and other social services such as homeless shelters and basic needs supports.

  • I'm confused as to why drugs are allowed to be used in these housing projects. Are drugs no longer illegal? I don't feel comfortable knowing these housing units will inevitably bring drugs into my kids neighborhood not to mention the dealers they buy from. What should I do when I see drug deals go down?

    Adam asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing’s supportive housing buildings are operated based on the widely recognized and proven Housing First model. Residents at these sites, and all other supportive housing buildings that BC Housing is affiliated with, are permitted to make their own choices in regard to lifestyle. This includes the decision to abstain or use alcohol or drugs in the privacy of their homes. 

    However, it is important to note that not everyone who moves into the permanent new homes will use alcohol or drugs, nor do they all require support for substance use. They are members of the community who may be seniors, people who are employed but are unable to afford housing, or people with disabilities.

    People without homes are often only able to focus on basic survival needs. By housing people, we increase the likelihood they will succeed in stabilizing their lives. Once someone moves into supportive housing, they are no longer homeless, and can focus on improving their well-being.

    We all want safe neighbourhoods. The safety of residents, staff and the surrounding community is a priority. This would be a purpose-built property and security measures would include well-lit and fenced grounds, extensive camera monitoring and a controlled single point of entry, similar to many apartment buildings and condos. Just like any other residence, if there are concerns with specific individuals, the operator will work with City bylaw and police around potential solutions. 

    If you see illegal activity, please contact the police. 

  • Given that there already is a massive staffing crisis within the organizations that run these buildings..who is going to staff it?

    Sherrie asked 3 months ago

    An operator has not yet been selected.  

    However, BC Housing partners with non-profit housing providers that have extensive experience in working with and supporting people experiencing homelessness. 

    When selecting operators, we consider several things such as operator capacity, special supports and programming options for the demographic, expertise and experience, staffing levels and staffing model.

  • Referring to Saanich's Development Permit for the 3 houses on Albina Street, this 5 story apartment building was restricted renting to Seniors 55+ for a minimum of 10 years. If not for the sink hole Feb 2019 on Albina Street that was not repaired until March 2020 this development would have been completed. Why are you not including the neighborhood prior to making these changes? It was Saanich that made the restriction of 55 plus for 10 years so how can the possibly change the time period that had already been approved?

    geofflavis22@gmail.com asked 4 months ago

    These six projects are made possible through partnerships across multiple levels of governments and community partners. This includes the Province, through BC Housing, the City of Victoria, the District of Saanich, the Capital Regional District and two projects funded through federal grants. 

    At least 1,523 individuals were experiencing homelessness in the last Capital region Point-in Time Homeless Count in March 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever to get people off the streets and out of shelters and into safe, stable housing. We are responding to this need and building new homes with wraparound supports as part of a plan to create safe, secure and permanent homes for people at risk of homelessness in the Capital region. 

    Seniors experiencing or a risk of homelessness have been identified in the Capital region as one of the priorities. This would be one of the considerations as part of the resident selection process. BC Housing is working closely with the District of Saanich throughout the development process.

  • Will the community be privy to the criteria for the assessment process for applicants? Will the community have input as to what should be considered for prospective tenants?

    Kristielyn asked 4 months ago

    Offers of tenancy are made following meetings held by BC Housing’s Coordinated Access Table where services including BC Housing, Island Health, the CRD and other community partners and service providers assess applicants for suitability. Suitability considers vulnerability in the community, neighbourhood considerations, accessibility to services, the housing operators’ experience and mandates - all in the interest of creating a balanced mix tenancy that will support successful operation and tenancies. 

  • What will be the target at risk group for this project? Seniors? Mental illness? Single parent? Drug addiction?

    Kristielyn asked 4 months ago

    People who experience homelessness are as varied as any other neighbour. They may be seniors, persons 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.   

    The new supportive housing residents living here will be a mix of people at risk of homelessness living in temporary shelters, in the temporary leased isolation hotels, or people living outdoors. Priority will be given to people over the age of 19 who are at risk of homelessness and living in the Capital region.

    BC Housing collaborates 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.

  • Will there be any outdoor space on the Albina street site (eg benches and picnic tables)?

    Jen asked 4 months ago

    Yes. There will be common amenity space, both indoors and outdoors.