Victoria - Meares Street

Building rendering for 1075 Meares Street

The above image is a rendering subject to change.

The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased 1053 and 1075 Meares Street in Victoria with a plan to build approximately 50 new permanent homes with support services for people who are marginalized and experiencing homelessness.

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 Meares 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.

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 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 update

Contractors from TL Housing Solutions will be on site at 1053 and 1075 Meares Street starting around July 5, 2021, to start site preparations for construction.

What you can expect: 

  • There will be security on-site 24/7. Traffic flaggers will be on-site during the transportation of materials.
  • Security will monitor the site overnight.
  • Work is anticipated to complete at the end of April 2022.
  • Hours of work will be between 7:00am and 7:00pm, Monday to Friday. Work may also be required on Saturdays.
  • There will be noise from equipment, such as jackhammers.

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, BC Housing and partners 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 into the community, and how this housing will support people in the community who are at risk or currently experiencing 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.

The Province, through BC Housing, has purchased 1053 and 1075 Meares Street in Victoria with a plan to build approximately 50 new permanent homes with support services for people who are marginalized and experiencing homelessness.

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 Meares 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.

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 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 update

Contractors from TL Housing Solutions will be on site at 1053 and 1075 Meares Street starting around July 5, 2021, to start site preparations for construction.

What you can expect: 

  • There will be security on-site 24/7. Traffic flaggers will be on-site during the transportation of materials.
  • Security will monitor the site overnight.
  • Work is anticipated to complete at the end of April 2022.
  • Hours of work will be between 7:00am and 7:00pm, Monday to Friday. Work may also be required on Saturdays.
  • There will be noise from equipment, such as jackhammers.

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, BC Housing and partners 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 into the community, and how this housing will support people in the community who are at risk or currently experiencing 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.

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  • I was speaking with a business owner close by to the site recently. He said there would be a safe injection site located here and that 80% of the homeless in Victoria are from elsewhere? Would you please comment on these statements as to their veracity? Thank you

    Heather asked 2 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. 

    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 drugs/alcohol in the privacy of their homes. If they choose to use, the operators will work with each tenant to ensure they use safely.

    Harm reduction acknowledges that many people may not be in a position to remain abstinent. The harm reduction approach meets people where they are at and provides an option to engage safely with peers, medical and social services. The overarching goal of the harm reduction approach is to prevent the negative consequences of substance use and to improve health. Harm reduction approaches and programming are seen as a best practice for engaging with individuals with substance use issues. We believe everyone deserves safe, secure housing, and while we do not discriminate against people based on their past experiences with the criminal justice system, we have no tolerance for acts of violence either by or against residents living in supportive housing.

    We hope this information is helpful. Please reach out again if you have additional questions.

  • I am concerned about the possible loss of mature trees on the property. There are significant trees at the back that should be retained, both for the benefit of the entire neighbourhood, and for the health and enjoyment of the supportive housing residents. Typically, by the time the community sees development plans, the process is at the stage where little, if anything, is done to address community concerns. How can we ensure this does not happen at this site?

    Janet asked 3 months ago

    BC Housing is aware there is a concern in the neighbourhood about preserving the trees. With all our developments we aim to have as minimal impact as possible on the current environment and neighbourhood during construction as possible.  

    We will be removing some trees, and those removed trees will be replaced with new ones. We are also working on a landscape plan – will share with the community via this 'Let's Talk' page at the earliest opportunity. 

  • -Does horading fall under the mandate/auspices or purview of supportive housing?

    - asked 4 months ago

    Individuals who live in the new homes on Meares Street supportive housing facility on Meares Street will have their own homes as well as storage space for their belongings. The goal is to help people to achieve and maintain housing stability, with individualized case planning as each resident will have different needs.  There will be many supports available, such as outreach workers, life skills training, employment assistance connection and referral to community services and support groups. 


  • When can we expect to see a detailed plan for the building? Neighbours need the opportunity to provide feedback on the building footprint and design before construction begins, and I notice that demolition started this week.

    AngelaL asked 4 months ago

    The plans for the building will be shared later this summer on the Let’s Talk page.

    If you have specific questions or suggestions, you can email communityrelations@bchousing.org

  • As a property owner and resident of the Harris Green neighborhood for 10 years I have experienced how 'supported' housing does not have enough or sufficient supports to control the residents of these facilities. We are becoming surrounded by these type of facilities. How will this be different than Out Place Housing on Pandora or 844 Johnson St? My neighbourhood is no longer safe nor desirable. My property values have been negatively affected. I'm tired. Adding one more to this neighborhood is not ideal. And frankly based on past performance of PHS at 844 Johnson St I have lost faith in your ability to empathize with the concerned neighbors.

    ALG asked 5 months ago

    People experiencing homelessness are already a part of our community; our goal is to help them find safe and stable housing in the community and bring them inside from the streets. As you’re aware, the City of Victoria is experiencing many challenges with homelessness, including various encampments. 

    The supportive housing model is unique in that all residents in supportive housing have made a choice to live there and are able to access the services provided by non-profit housing operators, such as life-skills training, and connections to primary health care, mental health and/or harm reduction services, and employment and life-skills programming. 

    Additional supports are also available, such as daily meals, outreach workers, wellness checks, life and employment skills training, opportunities for volunteer work, connection and referral to community services and support groups. 

    The operator will be able to assist residents who require medical assistance, either through on-site supports or off-site appointments. We are working with Island Health to ensure appropriate health services for residents. 

    We do hear a lot of questions about property values in relation to supportive housing. That’s why BC Housing commissioned research, completed in 2019, of 13 B.C. supportive housing sites. The study found that property values immediately surrounding 10 sites either kept pace or surpassed surrounding municipal trends. Property values for the other three sites were not notably different compared to municipal trends.  

  • BC Housing has already purchased the property on Meares for supportive housing. Asking for community feedback after the fact is an empty gesture. Now that most of the campers have been moved from Beacon Hill Park, I don't hear sirens every hour day and night on Cook Street as EMT's, police and firefighters respond to OD's, crime and fire. Once the new housing projects on Meares and Yates are filled with a significant number of addicts, alcoholics, career criminals and the mentally ill, the sirens will start up again. MILLIONS of dollars have been spent housing homeless transients from across BC and Canada. What about affordable housing for hard working folks on modest incomes or coops for families?

    Nicky asked 6 months ago

    Shelter is a basic human right. Everyone is deserving of safe, secure housing and British Columbians must work together to create the inclusive communities we all aspire to live in. 

    Housing people also makes good financial sense. Many studies show the cost of providing supportive housing is less than the cost of providing the health and public safety services needed to address homelessness.

    Not all of the residents who would move into the new permanent, purpose-built homes on Meares and Yates are using alcohol or drugs. They may be seniors, people with disabilities, people with employment but no stable permanent home. 

    Community feedback is important to us. Please feel free to join one of our next community information sessions on May 19 or 20. You can sign up on the Let’s Talk page. Victoria - Meares Street | Let's Talk Housing BC (letstalkhousingbc.ca) 

  • How do you justify spending millions in taxpayer dollars to acquire prime real estate for supporting housing that is unaffordable for the working class? So many hard-working individuals that contribute to the Victoria economy and community must live further away and are forced to spend time, energy and money to commute to work – how is this fair? There are already numerous supporting housing projects near downtown and its obvious how their occupants have eroded the cleanliness, safety and sense of community in the downtown core. Why not build supportive housing in an area that has lower land value so you can use the savings towards more density and provide those occupants transit passes so they can commute just like the rest of the working class?

    RM asked 6 months ago

    Hi RM

    BC Housing has an extensive research centre on our website that is publicly accessible. Here you’ll find links to studies from provincial and federal agencies, as well as BC Housing’s own research. If there is a particular research topic at top of mind, let me know and I can direct you. 

    You may find the resources below of particular interest, as they relate to your questions.

    The responses on this Let’s Talk page also discuss criteria for site selection. 

    BC Housing will be hosting two Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions in mid-May. These facilitated sessions will begin with a presentation to share an update on the project, small break out groups to hear from attendees, followed by a question-and-answer period.  

    If you are interested, please sign up for one of the following sessions:

    May 19: 2:30pm – 4:00pm 
     May 20: 5:30pm - 7:00pm

    For more information on the project please visit: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/victoria-meares. If you have any questions, please email communityrelations@bchousing.org 

  • Are you still planning to do some community engagement? I'm a generally supportive neighbour but there's a crew on site today and very little information has been shared. It's hard to address those neighbours among us who have fears and distrust about this project when there are no solid answers to give them.

    Supportive Neighbour asked 7 months ago

    BC Housing will be hosting two Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions in mid-May. 

    These facilitated sessions will begin with a presentation to share information on the project, small break out groups to hear from attendees, followed by a question-and-answer period.  

    Please sign up for one of the following sessions:

    May 19: 2:30pm – 4:00pm
    May 20: 5:30pm - 7:00pm

    For more information on the project please visit: https://letstalkhousingbc.ca/victoria-meares. If you have any questions, please email communityrelations@bchousing.org. 

  • Hello and thanks for the good work you are all doing on creating positive communication channels and reliable public information regarding supportive housing. There is an urgent need for it and the work you do is appreciated. I do have a comment or question regarding the decisions made in locating new supportive units, realizing that availability of property is a difficult and expensive issue. However, all the information I have received regarding the Meares St. and other upcoming developments refers to partnerships formed throughout the Capital Regional District. Despite that regional focus in the literature, I am somewhat dismayed to note that out of 283 proposed supportive units, 192 are located within the City of Victoria, fully 68% of the planned developments. Despite the verbiage about regional planning, it appears that the City is doing a great deal of the heavy lifting on locating supportive housing and it would be nice to see a more equitable distribution of units throughout the CRD, other factors notwithstanding. And although I am fully in support of providing better solutions for people who are struggling with street life and poor to non-existent housing, I also share with my neighbours a desire for a harmonious mix of housing types here and elsewhere in the downtown core. I feel somewhat apprehensive that we may be moving away from that, especially as the Cathedral and Harris Green neighbourhoods already have a number of supportive developments. Perhaps you can provide some information about what, if anything, is being done to encourage other core communities to share in providing solutions and more specifically, housing developments that support those less fortunate than ourselves. Many thanks, RC

    RC asked 7 months ago

    Hi RC

    Thanks for taking the time to reach out and share your positive feedback. It is much appreciated. 

    BC Housing engages and collaborates with non-profit societies, for-profit organizations, faith groups, owners of existing housing, Indigenous groups, federal and local governments and others to locate, secure and re-purpose available land, and is responsible for undertaking in-depth feasibility, due diligence and risk analyses to ensure that transactions are successful and meet project objectives.

    People experiencing homelessness are already a part of our community; our goal is to help them find safe and stable housing in the community and bring them inside from the streets. As you’re aware, the City of Victoria is experiencing many challenges with homelessness, including various encampments. 

    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. 

    The addition of supportive and affordable housing is critical for Victoria as shown through Point-In-Time count research, but there are a number of additional initiatives underway for the CRD, as well. At the end of March, the BC government announced details of the $13.1 million federal Rapid Housing Initiative allocation for the CRD, which will create up to 91 new affordable homes. The CRD is working in partnership with the Province, through BC Housing, and the Districts of Saanich and Central Saanich to deliver up to 91 new homes with 24/7 wraparound supports for people experiencing and at risk of homelessness.

    I hope this provides you with some additional information and context. Let us know if you have additional questions

  • What is the status of complaints and prospective date of completion?

    Nj asked 11 months ago

    The project is still in early planning stages. We have been receiving valuable input from community members while putting together a proposal to submit to the City. Once a proposal is in place in early 2021, BC Housing will engage with the community further to share more information about the plans and seek input into design. If the project proceeds, construction could begin at the end of 2021 and operating in 2022.  

Page last updated: 25 August 2021, 14:56