Victoria – 865 Catherine Street

Illustration of outdoor encampment


BC Housing and the City of Victoria are moving forward with a plan develop approximately 45 new homes for people at risk of homelessness at 865 Catherine Street in Victoria.

This purchase 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.

Many of the people who will move into Catherine Street have been living successfully in the temporary shelters leased in Victoria. Staff would be on-site 24/7 working with each resident to understand their needs and goals.

An experienced non-profit housing partner will be selected to manage the proposed building. Applicants will go through an assessment process to make sure there is a mix of residents with the right supports. All residents will sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement) and pay rent.

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.

Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback about this proposal we will be hosting three Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions as we share information about this proposed project and how it will support people in the community who are at risk or currently experiencing homelessness.

These facilitated sessions will begin with a presentation to share information on the proposed project, followed by a question-and-answer period.

Please sign up for one of the following sessions (space is limited):

May 3: 2:30-4pm
May 3: 5:30-7pm
May 5: 2:30-4pm

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 and the City of Victoria are moving forward with a plan develop approximately 45 new homes for people at risk of homelessness at 865 Catherine Street in Victoria.

This purchase 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.

Many of the people who will move into Catherine Street have been living successfully in the temporary shelters leased in Victoria. Staff would be on-site 24/7 working with each resident to understand their needs and goals.

An experienced non-profit housing partner will be selected to manage the proposed building. Applicants will go through an assessment process to make sure there is a mix of residents with the right supports. All residents will sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement) and pay rent.

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.

Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions

To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback about this proposal we will be hosting three Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions as we share information about this proposed project and how it will support people in the community who are at risk or currently experiencing homelessness.

These facilitated sessions will begin with a presentation to share information on the proposed project, followed by a question-and-answer period.

Please sign up for one of the following sessions (space is limited):

May 3: 2:30-4pm
May 3: 5:30-7pm
May 5: 2:30-4pm

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.

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  • The railyards has had the parkade broken into and bikes stolen on a monthly basis, needles are found in the parkade. If you are housing the people who are camping outside my house what level of assurance can you provide that break-ins will decrease as our office in rock Bay is constantly broken in by the housing provided there. This is not marginalizing people, do you not have any sympathy for people in the area. My daughter was physically assaulted at the railyards bathroom last week.

    Jenny asked 14 days ago

    Many of the people who will move into Catherine Street, have been living successfully in the temporary shelters and hotels rooms leased in Victoria. There will be staff on-site 24 hours a day to provide important supports such as life skill training, wellness checks and other health and skill development programs. 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). 

    The Program Agreement would address expectations about appropriate and respectful behavior especially as it relates to the health and safety of themselves and others. Housing staff would work with residents and the neighbours to foster good neighbourhood relations.   

    We all want safe neighbourhoods. If our residents or housing operator see vandalism or witness crime in the neighbourhood, they will connect with the Victoria Police. 

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

    A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) would be created to support the successful integration of the building into the neighbourhood and community, with representation from BC Housing, Island Health, the City of Victoria, Victoria Police, 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 ensure a positive connection with neighbours.

  • I used to live by the Paul's motor in and had my townhome windows smashed in twice in the Hudson and random people try and open my doors at night. Recently I acquired a house in Vic west and have similar concerns, will their be subsidies and additional police funding available to ensure adequate safety. I am not attempting to marginalize people, but unfortunately had to move as this scared my wife and kids. Please provide a non generic response with some empathy.

    Carl ross asked 14 days ago

    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. Just like any other residence, if there are concerns with specific individuals coming on property or loitering around the property, we will work with City bylaw and Victoria Police around potential solutions.  

    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.  

    We all want safe neighbourhoods. If our residents or housing operator see vandalism or witness crime in the neighbourhood, they will connect with the Victoria Police. 

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

    A Community Advisory Committee (CAC) would be created to support the successful integration of the building into the neighbourhood and community, with representation from BC Housing, Island Health, the City of Victoria, Victoria Police, 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.

  • Is BC Housing purchasing the property at 225 Russell St. Victoria? Will that property be a permanent facility for housing?

    Marlene asked 21 days ago

    BC Housing and Our Place Society will be opening a temporary shelter with 70 beds for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria, at 225 Russell Street.

    The shelter will operate for 18-months with the option to extend the permit an additional 6 months. This is an interim solution to an immediate need in the community.

    225 Russell is part of a long-term strategy to create supportive housing in the Capital region. After 18 to 24 months operating as a temporary shelter, this building will be converted into 40-units of supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. All units will have a bathroom and kitchen and provide housing with a person-centered approach that meets people where they are at to help them thrive. Many of the people who move into this new supportive housing will have been living successfully in the temporary shelters leased in Victoria. There will be staff on-site 24 hours a day to provide important supports such as life skills training, wellness checks and other health and skill development programs. Applicants will go through an assessment process to make sure there is a mix of residents with the right supports and all residents will pay rent and sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement).

    You can learn more here: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/victoria-225-russell

  • Did BC Housing purchase the property at 225 Russell St. in Victoria?

    Marlene asked 25 days ago

    BC Housing and Our Place Society will be opening a temporary shelter with 70 beds for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria, at 225 Russell Street.

    The shelter will operate for 18-months with the option to extend the permit an additional 6 months. This is an interim solution to an immediate need in the community.

    225 Russell is part of a long-term strategy to create supportive housing in the Capital region. After 18 to 24 months operating as a temporary shelter, this building will be converted into 40-units of supportive housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. All units will have a bathroom and kitchen and provide housing with a person-centered approach that meets people where they are at to help them thrive. Many of the people who move into this new supportive housing will have been living successfully in the temporary shelters leased in Victoria. There will be staff on-site 24 hours a day to provide important supports such as life skills training, wellness checks and other health and skill development programs. Applicants will go through an assessment process to make sure there is a mix of residents with the right supports and all residents will pay rent and sign a program agreement (similar to a tenancy agreement).

    You can learn more here: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/victoria-225-russell

  • I live a few blocks away from the proposed supportive housing at 865 Catherine St. I wanted to let you know that I support this effort, and think it is a good idea and a reasonable place for supportive housing. It will be far less disruptive to the surrounding community than the current tent encampment by Save On Foods, assuming the people in that encampment will be moving into temporary housing, not to mention being far better for the people who will be getting the housing they need. I am very glad to see strong action finally being taken to deal with the homelessness crisis. I really, really hope it works because I know people who've lived homeless, and I'd really like to not worry about my friends ending up back there and being unable to get out.

    Liz asked 16 days ago

    We share and appreciate your support for these new supportive homes. 

    We want to hear from the community about how to successfully integrate this new supportive housing within the community.

    We will be reaching out within a few weeks to invite neighbours to participate in some online small group dialogues. This will provide interested neighbours and community members an opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions, and share information about how to successfully integrate supportive housing into the community.  

    Registration information will be posted to this page. Please let us know if you would like to be added to email notification list to be informed once the sessions are available for registration by emailing us at communityrelations@bchousing.org 

  • Who will be running this supportive housing?

    Eva Cassetti asked 16 days ago

    An operator will be confirmed at a later date. The operator will be responsible for property and operations management, including 24/7 on-site staff.   

  • I understand the need for more supportive housing, especially in this city, however, I wanted to ask why this location in specific is so close to an elementary school? Even with staff on site, I am not fully confident that a housing project wouldn't negatively affect the children/parents at Vic west elementary.

    Alex asked 20 days ago

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on proximity to services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are at, 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.

    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. 

    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.  

  • What am I supposed to do, I don’t want CRIME in my quiet neighborhood and with the track record of BC housing recently placing the homeless does not make me happy about this new community development without even letting us know what is going on before it’s too late.

    Eaparosns38 asked 21 days 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 Province recognizes the immediate need to provide secure housing for people experiencing and at risk of homelessness in the City of Victoria, which is why we purchased this property.

    BC Housing and the City of Victoria 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.

    The purpose-built supportive housing in this announcement, including Catherine Street, goes through an assessment process for each individual. Many residents staying at the leased hotels have already been successfully housed since spring of 2020; 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). In addition, each resident has their own self-contained studio home (washroom and kitchen).

    We want to hear from the community about how to successfully integrate this new supportive housing within the community.

    We will be reaching out within a few weeks to invite neighbours to participate in some online small group dialogues. This will provide interested neighbours and community members an opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions, and share information about how to successful integrate supportive housing into the community.  

    Registration information will be posted to this page. Please let us know if you would like to be added to email notification list to be informed once the sessions are available for registration by emailing us at communityrelations@bchousing.org

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on proximity to services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are at, 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.

  • 865 Catherine is situated in a neighborhood surrounded by daycares schools and playgrounds, and a family oriented community. The entire block of Edward Street has children under the age of 12. If you had consulted with the neighbourhood as required by any other developer in the region, you would know this, and have come to the decision that this is not the appropriate location for your development. Telling a community how to learn more is not consultation. Telling a community that something is happening and they have no say is not consultation. Offering dialogue sessions or an online platform with no opportunity for community decision making is not meaningful engagement. Green lighting a project that does not consider our neighborhood plan or needs, is not community engagement. Our Vic west community is incredibly upset with this proposal, and importantly the approach that has been taken. Fast tracking and skipping the consultation process and moving straight to shovels in the ground is not sitting well with the community. And again, this location is not appropriate for this proposal.

    Concerned Parent asked 21 days ago

    The Province recognizes the immediate need to provide secure housing for people experiencing and at risk of homelessness in the City of Victoria, which is why we purchased this property.

    BC Housing and the City of Victoria 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.

    We want to hear from the community about how to successfully integrate this new supportive housing within the community.

    We will be reaching out within a few weeks to invite neighbours to participate in some online small group dialogues. This will provide interested neighbours and community members an opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions, and share information about how to successful integrate supportive housing into the community.  

    Registration information will be posted to this page. Please let us know if you would like to be added to email notification list to be informed once the sessions are available for registration by emailing us at communityrelations@bchousing.org

    Supportive housing locations are determined based on proximity to services, amenities and availability of property. Housing for people experiencing homelessness needs to meet people where they are at, 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.

  • Why were tax-paying residents not made aware before so we could vote? this was rammed down our throats, here comes the Crime!

    angrytaxpayer asked 21 days ago

    The Province recognizes the immediate need to provide secure housing for people experiencing and at risk of homelessness in the City of Victoria, which is why we purchased this property.

    BC Housing and the City of Victoria 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.

    We want to hear from the community about how to successfully integrate this new supportive housing within the community.

    We will be reaching out within a few weeks to invite neighbours to participate in some online small group dialogues. This will provide interested neighbours and community members an opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions, and share information about how to successful integrate supportive housing into the community.  

    Registration information will be posted to this page. Please let us know if you would like to be added to email notification list to be informed once the sessions are available for registration by emailing us at communityrelations@bchousing.org

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

    Labeling all people who have experienced homelessness in this way stereotypes and marginalizes vulnerable people.