Salt Spring Island – Supportive Housing

Digital illustration of apartment buildings

161 Drake Road - Permanent Supportive Housing

There is an urgent need for permanent supportive housing on Salt Spring Island. Recent counts have shown us that between 80 and 120 people are facing or experiencing homelessness in this community. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, only a small number of temporary supportive homes have been available.

BC Housing plans to use a portion of the land at 161 Drake Road to build 28 permanent supportive homes for Salt Spring Island residents who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. This modular building will also include a commercial kitchen as well as a common area, offices and an outdoor amenity space. Onsite supports will include daily meals, life and skills training and connections to community services. We will select a non-profit operator for this site through a request for proposal (RFP) process.

Development process

In early 2022, BC Housing leased the land at 161 Drake Road from the Capital Regional District. Since then, pre-development work has included clearing blackberries, assessing streams, trees and wildlife, and working towards responsible water use and stormwater drainage. When this important environmental work is finished, we will be able to offer a more detailed project timeline.

Community engagement

Because of the urgent need for supportive housing on Salt Spring Island, we are moving forward with this project as quickly as possible with the support of Islands Trust and the Capital Regional District.

We recognize there is much local interest in this site, and we commit to continue working closely with the community surrounding 161 Drake Road to ensure the project is successful and integrates well.

On Monday, Dec. 5 we hosted an online information session for neighbours of 161 Drake Road where BC Housing staff shared the latest project information and answered questions. The session slideshow is available to download on this page.

Other community information sessions may be planned as the project moves forward. Please watch this page for details.

Send questions at any time using the Q&A below or by emailing: communityrelations@bchousing.org.

154 Kings Lane – Temporary Supportive Housing

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Salt Spring Island community members facing homelessness first accessed emergency shelter and services at the Seabreeze Inne (101 Bittancourt Road), then in temporary modular units at 154 Kings Lane where many are still living now.

BC Housing leased the land at 154 Kings Lane from the Gulf Island Seniors Residence Association (GISRA) and we are grateful for their support as we work towards building permanent housing on Salt Spring Island.

The units at 154 Kings Lane are provided and serviced by Black Diamond Group. Because this site is temporary, services including water, power and sewage are being brought in and removed. Umbrella Society is currently providing resident supports.

When the building at 161 Drake Road is ready, BC Housing will select people to live at the new site using our Coordinated Access and Assessment model which matches residents with the supports they need. Eligible people living at Kings Lane will be considered first.

Once all residents have left Kings Lane, we will remove the temporary units and return the land to the GIRSA.

Send questions at any time using the Q&A below or by emailing: communityrelations@bchousing.org.

161 Drake Road - Permanent Supportive Housing

There is an urgent need for permanent supportive housing on Salt Spring Island. Recent counts have shown us that between 80 and 120 people are facing or experiencing homelessness in this community. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, only a small number of temporary supportive homes have been available.

BC Housing plans to use a portion of the land at 161 Drake Road to build 28 permanent supportive homes for Salt Spring Island residents who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. This modular building will also include a commercial kitchen as well as a common area, offices and an outdoor amenity space. Onsite supports will include daily meals, life and skills training and connections to community services. We will select a non-profit operator for this site through a request for proposal (RFP) process.

Development process

In early 2022, BC Housing leased the land at 161 Drake Road from the Capital Regional District. Since then, pre-development work has included clearing blackberries, assessing streams, trees and wildlife, and working towards responsible water use and stormwater drainage. When this important environmental work is finished, we will be able to offer a more detailed project timeline.

Community engagement

Because of the urgent need for supportive housing on Salt Spring Island, we are moving forward with this project as quickly as possible with the support of Islands Trust and the Capital Regional District.

We recognize there is much local interest in this site, and we commit to continue working closely with the community surrounding 161 Drake Road to ensure the project is successful and integrates well.

On Monday, Dec. 5 we hosted an online information session for neighbours of 161 Drake Road where BC Housing staff shared the latest project information and answered questions. The session slideshow is available to download on this page.

Other community information sessions may be planned as the project moves forward. Please watch this page for details.

Send questions at any time using the Q&A below or by emailing: communityrelations@bchousing.org.

154 Kings Lane – Temporary Supportive Housing

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Salt Spring Island community members facing homelessness first accessed emergency shelter and services at the Seabreeze Inne (101 Bittancourt Road), then in temporary modular units at 154 Kings Lane where many are still living now.

BC Housing leased the land at 154 Kings Lane from the Gulf Island Seniors Residence Association (GISRA) and we are grateful for their support as we work towards building permanent housing on Salt Spring Island.

The units at 154 Kings Lane are provided and serviced by Black Diamond Group. Because this site is temporary, services including water, power and sewage are being brought in and removed. Umbrella Society is currently providing resident supports.

When the building at 161 Drake Road is ready, BC Housing will select people to live at the new site using our Coordinated Access and Assessment model which matches residents with the supports they need. Eligible people living at Kings Lane will be considered first.

Once all residents have left Kings Lane, we will remove the temporary units and return the land to the GIRSA.

Send questions at any time using the Q&A below or by emailing: communityrelations@bchousing.org.

Have a question or comment? Please add below.

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  • Thank you for your reply. Seeing as the 'In from the Cold' shelter is now being included in the Drake Rd Supportive Housing development, as well as residents coming & going, both 24 hours of the day, it would be expected to have, at the bare minimum, 24 hour security on site. This is not an 'if required' situation, but an 'as required' one. Seeing as this is 'Supportive Housing', it will be imperitive to have a 24 hour staffed reception to assist with any issues that may arise in order to ensure the safety of the residents. I trust BC Housing is going to include this important feature in the development of this project. Seeing as Drake Rd is a residential neighbourhood, the interests of the existing property owners should also be paramount in this development. It will be expected that every effort be made to minimize any security issues & ensure their right to peace & comfort is not affected. Having 24 hour staffing on site will be an important aspect of this necessary assurance. Thank you.

    MJS asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback MJS.  

    First, I'd like to confirm that the 'Inn from the Cold' shelter is not being moved to 161 Drake Rd. The of goal of 161 Drake Rd development is to create purpose-built supportive housing; studio units with wraparound supports provided by SSICS. Many of the people moving into the Drake Rd housing will come from the shelter and the Seabreeze Inne currently leased by BC Housing.  

    Drake Rd is intended as a replacement for the shelter; a long-term housing solution providing people with their own studio units instead of mats on the floor. BC Housing supported the operations of this shelter as well a number of units at the Seabreeze Inne through the pandemic.  Now, as we look towards the future, we are investing in permanent supportive housing solutions such as the Drake Rd development to provide greater benefits to the people we serve.  

    BC Housing will continue to work with SSICS to determine the future of the shelter. For example, we have contingency funding for extreme weather and winter shelters which organizations like SSICS can apply for if needed. 

    A limited number of bridge-to-housing beds are also being considered for Drake Rd, where individuals would apply and be allocated to through the CAA table. This is different from a traditional shelter, instead, potential residents of bridge-to-housing beds apply in advance and are considered on an individual basis.  

    With regard to security, all new supportive housing that we develop across the province creates a safe environment both inside and outside the building. This building will be a purpose-built property where security measures would include well-lit and fenced grounds, extensive camera monitoring and a controlled single, point of entry. For these reasons, security staff are generally not required for supportive housing buildings.  

    The SSICS staffing model for Drake Rd is not yet determined. Typically, 24/7 staffing is put in place for many supportive housing sites and it may be used at 161 Drake Rd. BC Housing is working closely with SSICS to ensure there will be appropriate staffing for the services provided. Feedback from community members, as you have provided, is also considered as part of the discussion around staffing with SSICS.  

     I hope this information is helpful to you. Please continue to reach out with further questions or comments.  

    Sincerely, 

    Patia

    BC Housing Community Relations Team 

     

  • Hello: It was my understanding that the Drake Road development would have 24 hour staffing for entry and exit of the residents. I only see daytime staffing mentioned on the linked document. What kind of staffing will be on site outside of daytime operating hours, if any? Regarding ‘statutory immunity’, does this exclude the development from having to make environmental considerations? If not, what kind of environmental assessments and considerations are being done? Waiting until the development is almost fully built to engage with the community does not feel like a respectful engagement. BC Housing may indeed benefit from the input of the local community in the design and development of this site more than they have considered & would most certainly garner more support. Please reconsider this timeline. Thank you, MJS

    MJS asked 10 months ago

    Hello MJS,  

    Thank you for your questions. I’ll do my best to address each one.  

    There will be staff onsite during the day to provide supports. The staffing model at Drake Rd has not yet been determined but would include 24/7 staffing if required.  

    Statutory immunity is being used to speed up the development work as the rezoning process could take several years. We are currently working through our site due diligence which includes environmental assessment. This assessment includes an arborist report, Environmental Site Assessment, Geotechnical investigation and a biological assessment. We are currently working to get a well water licence through FLNRO and approvals through Island Health. We will also meet all regular building code and safety standards.  

    I appreciate your perspective on community engagement. Our current focus is on site due diligence; however, we look forward to hosting an information session when we are better positioned to answer questions and provide more detailed information to our neighbours on this planned development.  

    Please continue to check the project Let’s Talk page for updates and more information: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/salt-spring-island-supportive-housing 

    Have a wonderful long weekend,  

    Patia

    BC Housing Community Relations Team 

  • Will community services still operate an emergency shelter?

    Bun asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your inquiry, Bun. In from the Cold shelter at 268 Fulford-Ganges currently operated by Salt Spring and Southern Gulf Islands Community Services Society (SSICS) provides vital supports to members of the Salt Spring Island community. BC Housing are working to create long term solutions for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness on Salt Spring Island, we believe the modular project at 161 Drake Rd provides the best opportunities for the people we serve.

    Once the development at 161 Drake is complete, we intend to move all those currently living at the In from the Cold shelter to the new supportive housing. The new supportive housing at 161 Drake Road will also be operated by (SSICS). At that time, the In from the Cold shelter would close.


Page last updated: 15 Dec 2022, 10:22 AM