Victoria - 1176 Yates Street

Illustration of modular style building, next to another apartment building.

The above image is a rendering subject to change.


BC Housing has purchased 1176 Yates Street in Victoria and moving forward with a plan to develop approximately 46 new permanent homes with support services support services for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

This new supportive housing is part of an ongoing commitment, working closely with the City of Victoria, 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).

Operator: PHS Community Services Society

PHS Community Services Society, an experienced non-profit housing operator, will manage 1176 Yates Street. PHS provides housing, healthcare, harm reduction and health promotion for some of the most marginalized people in Victoria and Vancouver. Managing more than 1,500 units across both cities, PHS offers a wide range of supportive housing, made possible by ‘wraparound’ medical and personal supports. Its Victoria operation has grown from running a single supportive housing building in 2016 to currently managing five locations that include housing, shelters, and a supportive recovery program. BC Housing has a strong historical relationship with PHS and is glad to be partnering with the PHS team again

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 valuable 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.

Construction

Construction workers from Nomodic Modular will be on site beginning October 4, 2021.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Hours of work will be between 7:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Saturday, unless work is required outside these hours (for example, to secure the site for the night).
  • There will be security patrols during the day and overnight.
  • There will be noise from jackhammers and other machinery.

The safety of neighbours and staff is our priority:

  • All work on site meets WorkSafe BC construction guidelines.
  • Workers will wear protective equipment.
  • COVID safety protocols are in place and will be followed.

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.

Neighbourhood dialogue sessions

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback, we hosted two Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions in June 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.

The above image is a rendering subject to change.


BC Housing has purchased 1176 Yates Street in Victoria and moving forward with a plan to develop approximately 46 new permanent homes with support services support services for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

This new supportive housing is part of an ongoing commitment, working closely with the City of Victoria, 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).

Operator: PHS Community Services Society

PHS Community Services Society, an experienced non-profit housing operator, will manage 1176 Yates Street. PHS provides housing, healthcare, harm reduction and health promotion for some of the most marginalized people in Victoria and Vancouver. Managing more than 1,500 units across both cities, PHS offers a wide range of supportive housing, made possible by ‘wraparound’ medical and personal supports. Its Victoria operation has grown from running a single supportive housing building in 2016 to currently managing five locations that include housing, shelters, and a supportive recovery program. BC Housing has a strong historical relationship with PHS and is glad to be partnering with the PHS team again

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 valuable 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.

Construction

Construction workers from Nomodic Modular will be on site beginning October 4, 2021.

Here is what you can expect:

  • Hours of work will be between 7:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Saturday, unless work is required outside these hours (for example, to secure the site for the night).
  • There will be security patrols during the day and overnight.
  • There will be noise from jackhammers and other machinery.

The safety of neighbours and staff is our priority:

  • All work on site meets WorkSafe BC construction guidelines.
  • Workers will wear protective equipment.
  • COVID safety protocols are in place and will be followed.

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.

Neighbourhood dialogue sessions

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback, we hosted two Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions in June 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.

Have a question or comment? Write below.

loader image
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
  • Will the residents of this housing be tenants with rights under the Residential Tenancies Act? If not, what legislation will their housing rights be governed by?

    Leslie Robinhood asked 5 months ago

    A non-profit housing operator will be selected to manage the new supportive housing. Operators will have Program Agreements, not residential tenancy agreements. People who live in supportive housing need to abide by the rules outlined in the program agreement, including expectations for paying rent, maintaining the unit, involvement in individualized case planning, signing the Good Neighbour Agreement, which focuses on property, safety, conduct and behaviour, and communication. 

    The Program Agreement also addresses expectations about appropriate and respectful behaviour especially as it relates to the health and safety of those signing, and others including fellow tenants and staff. In a recent dispute resolution in this regard, the supportive housing operator agreement upheld the Tenancy Act.

  • I hope there is someway to ensure that locals only are getting this housing, we seem to be attracting people from all of the other provinces because we’re giving out free housing. How will that be addressed?

    Jonine asked 5 months ago

    A common misconception is that people experiencing homelessness are “not from here” and that supportive housing “brings problems” into the neighbourhood that did not exist before. 

    The 2020 Greater Victoria Point-in-Time homeless count found that the significant majority of the 1,523 homeless individuals counted were British Columbians – 84% had lived in Greater Victoria for more than one year, and 22% have lived in the region their entire lives. Of those who have moved from another place, 60% had lived somewhere in British Columbia before coming to Victoria. Together with our partners at the City of Victoria, we are working hard to build housing solutions for those most at risk of, or experiencing homelessness in the community. 

  • We already have a homeless building across from the school. I SEE them doing and buying and selling drugs! How are you going to control that??

    ConcernedMomma asked 5 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. 

  • This will do nothing but increase crime and violence in our neighbourhood. This is naive thinking at its best.

    stan asked 5 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.  

    Sites for supportive housing are selected based on various criteria. BC Housing looks to acquire property based on community need and where there is an urgent need for more housing. 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.

    We encourage you to register for one of the upcoming Community Engagement Sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to hear from BC Housing staff and others about the development, and to ask questions:

    You can also email communityrelations@bchousing.org if you have additional questions.

  • What’s going to be done for safety and theft in the area. Upticks in crime in other areas are already recorded, as well as sanitary concerns. This location is across the street from a school, what additional measures are in place to protect this, as current ones have not shown desired results

    Joben asked about 1 year ago

    Many supportive housing sites for people experiencing homelessness across the province have been operating in their communities and near schools for 10+ years with no issues and with support from the community. There are over 210 provincially funded supportive housing sites across the province that are within 500 metres of a school, and 52% of provincially-funded supportive housing sites in B.C. within 500 metres of schools have been operating for 10+ years.

    In 2019 a BC Housing study reported that 82% of survey respondents across seven modular supportive housing sites experienced positive interactions with neighbours in the surrounding community since they moved in.

    Both staff and residents of the Yates Street development will be committed to keeping the property and neighbourhood maintained with a daily clean-up, just as any other resident in the neighbourhood.

     You can learn more about the safety features of the new proposed housing in our factsheet in the document library on this site.

  • Hey! Just received a letter regarding the development. Great use for the building! I've been looking across the street at it for a while now wondering what was going to happen over there... Question though: What could this new build potentially do for the neighbourhood? Could this block become like on Pandora between Quadra and Vancouver? I attended the conservatory about 8 years ago and watching that grow has me a little concerned about what could happen in my neighbourhood block, but I'm also not very brushed up on the issue and would love to hear from you if and when you have a chance Thank you for your time! Troy

    Troy asked about 1 year ago

    The new permanent, purpose-built supportive housing being proposed on Yates Street is part of the long-term solution to create much-needed new supportive homes in Victoria that will help support people who are vulnerable in the community and provide a safe place for those who don’t have a home.  

    To get a sense of what the new housing will be like, we invite you to watch this video as an example of what another purpose-built supportive housing building looks like in Parksville. 

    The safety of the community, residents and staff is a priority. The new proposed housing will have many safety and security features in place, including:  

    • The building will be staffed with a minimum of two employees 24/7 from the non-profit housing operator (yet to be determined)
    • Standard security measures such as well-lit and fenced grounds, extensive camera monitoring, and a controlled entrance
    • All guests will need to provide ID and be buzzed in by reception
    • Both staff and residents will be committed to keeping the property and neighbourhood maintained with a daily clean-up, just as any other resident in the neighbourhood.

    In addition, 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 address concerns and endure a positive connection with neighbours. 

  • Who will specifically be served by this project? Supportive housing is a very broad term. It does not specify any age group or anything else such as goals for the people living there.

    Sue McMurter asked about 1 year ago

    People who apply to live in the proposed supportive housing on Yates Street would need to meet eligibility requirements around income, homelessness and required supports and programming. Residents will be low-income individuals over the age of 19 who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness in the community and who need additional support services to maintain housing. They will be provided support to assist with their successful tenancy, including daily meal services. 

    BC Housing and the housing operator 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. 

  • While the Burnside/ Gorge area and the downtown area comprising Yates street at the Boys and Girls club, the Arena, Johnson St and Mears are all being jammed with "Supportive Housing", why is BC Housing not looking at James Bay, Fairfield, Fernwood, Jubilee etc. It seems that the City and BC housing are complicit in trying to localize and in doing so Ghettoize certain areas.

    Gary asked about 1 year ago

    BC Housing worked in collaboration with the City of Victoria to locate a suitable property for supportive housing, and the Yates Street site was identified by the City. 

    BC Housing looks to acquire property based on community need and there is an urgent need for more permanent, purpose-built supportive housing in downtown Victoria. There are many developments underway throughout Victoria and the CRD. 

    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. Supportive housing locations are determined based on services, amenities and availability of property. The suitability of supportive housing sites is considered with respect to proximity to community services (health services, commercial and recreational activities); accessibility to transit; adequate lot size; connections to utilities; compatible land use policies. 

  • Curious as to why the abundance of housing situated in and around dt/harris green and not other areas of the city or even the CRD? Thanks Matt

    Matt asked about 1 year ago

    There are a significant number of projects (approximately 430 new homes) underway in the CRD, and a major financial investment by the Province over 10 years to add 3500 homes in the CRD over 10 years. 

    There is an urgent need for permanent, supportive housing in downtown Victoria and the proposal for 1176 Yates Street will provide approximately 40 new homes with supports to people who are vulnerable in the community and need a safe place to live.

  • 40 units doesn't seem enough. Can we get more?

    asund asked about 1 year ago

    Since March, BC Housing has opened eight new sites with 505 spaces for vulnerable people in Victoria, including those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, so they have a safe place of their own and can maintain physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    There are also approximately 430 new homes underway right now in the CRD for people with low incomes through provincial funding programs. Earlier this month, BC Housing also purchased two properties on Meares Street to propose the development of an additional (approx.) 50 new permanent homes with supports. 

    The Province's affordable housing investment of more than $7 billion over 10 years will benefit everyone in B.C., including people in Victoria and the CRD. This is the largest housing investment in British Columbia's history. We appreciate your engagement and support on this project, and we will be reaching out to the community over the coming months with updates on our progress. 

Page last updated: 05 October 2021, 10:10