Jul 2020

Action : Over 300 New Affordable Homes Being Built in Nanaimo

Nanaimo, BC- New housing will soon be available for those facing and experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo through a partnership project announced yesterday by BC Housing and the City of Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Homeless Coalition (NHC) is pleased with yesterday’s partnership announcement to create more permanent housing options in Nanaimo and reduce the amount of people experiencing homelessness in the region. Over 300 new affordable homes are planned to be built over the next few years. This includes new permanent, purpose-built supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness and new affordable rental homes for individuals, seniors and families.

See Government of BC’s press release here:

“Yesterday’s welcome news shows how tackling homelessness takes multiple partners from government and the non-profit sector working together. While projects announced yesterday move to completion, the City of Nanaimo Health and Housing Task Force and the Homeless Coalition will continue to work hard to find the next round of solutions to house the over 425 people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo,” says Jason Harrison, co-chair, Nanaimo Homeless Coalition member.

The planned permanent supportive housing is intended to replace the temporary housing at Labieux Road and Terminal Avenue, as well as add new supportive housing at additional locations within the city. Island Crisis Care Society will be operating two of the supportive housing sites and Nanaimo Region of the John Howard Society will operate one.

“These new homes are about making sure people in Nanaimo – from those who are without homes to seniors to young families – have homes they can afford,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is working with partners to take action and move people into new homes where they are safe, welcome and supported. Neighbourhoods are safer and healthier when everyone has a home and supports that meet their needs, and this is a great example of how working together to house people helps the entire community.”

The NHC is pleased that the City of Nanaimo, BC Housing, Island Crisis Care and Nanaimo John Howard Society are committed to community engagement as they create more housing, and that they are fostering this community-wide, solutions-focused approach.

“Yesterday’s announcement is a positive sign that the work of the members of the Homeless Coalition and members of the Health & Housing Task Force are seeing concrete outcomes and making progress in finding solutions to the housing crisis,” says Kim Smythe, CEO, Nanaimo Chamber. “Any forward motion to provide relief to the business community and the community at large is very welcome news.” 

The NHC appreciates the teams at the City of Nanaimo, BC Housing and local service providers who are working hard to create much-needed permanent housing for those experiencing homelessness and precarious housing in our city.

Nanaimo continues to struggle with homelessness as indicated in the preliminary findings from the 2020 Point-in-Time count in June. The Count found that more than 425 people are currently experiencing homelessness but the real number is likely closer to 600. The pressure on the affordable homes and housing supply and support systems in Nanaimo will only continue to increase.

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