Illustration of a social housing complex that will soon be underway on the 4800 Block of Lazelle Ave. (Contributed illustration)

Illustration of a social housing complex that will soon be underway on the 4800 Block of Lazelle Ave. (Contributed illustration)

Groundbreaking scheduled for new housing project

Three-storey apartment building to provide secure accommodation for women and children

A groundbreaking ceremony on the corner of the 4800 Block of Lazelle Ave. and Munroe on June 22 will mark the official construction start of a housing project for women and children.

It’s called second stage housing and will provide accommodation for women and children who have either experienced domestic violence or the threat of violence causing them to first move to a transition house or other safe place.

Amanda Owens, the executive director of the Ksan Society, the local social services agency which will manage the the three-storey apartment building, said supports and referrals to other services and links to affordable housing will be offered.

A length of stay could be anywhere from six to 18 months or longer depending on the circumstances.

“Some women may need or desire direct access to a second stage housing program and may self-refer,” Owens said.

“Supports include initial contact services, safe shelter, housing and immediate basic needs, personal supports for women and children, referrals, advocacy and supported access to services, and inter-agency service linking.”

The building will feature eight one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units as well as common areas.

The BC Housing agency is financing construction and will own the building that will be operated by Ksan. Owens said Ksan will need to fill approximately six positions to run the facility.

Ksan has run a transition house in Terrace for years and this new project marks another step forward to provide affordable housing options within the city. Owens said clients do not necessarily have to be from just Terrace and area.

“We generally look at local candidates first, but also by need – each individual circumstance is different,”

The need for this kind of housing was identified in a 2020 housing report commissioned by the city.

Golden Globe Construction, with offices in east Vancouver, has the contract for the building’s construction and completion should take approximately 16 months.

It will be the third such housing project in the neighbourhood of the 4800 Block of Lazelle.

Already underway on the same block is another three-storey, 48 unit apartment building being built under the auspices of the Vancouver-based M’akola Housing Society with financing by B.C. Housing and meant for Indigenous people.

A third housing project that is now in the planning stages just steps away from the M’akola project, on the vacant lot beside the main offices of the Terrace and District Services Society on the corner of Eby and the 4800 Block of Lazelle.

Money for this Terrace and District Community Services Society project is also coming from BC Housing.

The intent is to have the bottom floor of a building contain the Foundry youth mental health service, which is run by the society, with 43 apartment units for senior citizens on the upper floors.

The three projects are not the only ones aimed at expanding the city’s stock of affordable and secure housing.

Last year, BC Housing announced financing for Ksan to build a 34-unit, four-storey apartment building it will own and manage at 2801 Kenney St. on the Southside.

The location on the corner of Kenney and Agar, adjacent to the former Misty River Tackle, will be familiar to longtime residents as the former site of an apartment building that was destroyed by fire more than 20 years ago.

In February Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) announced it had purchased half-an-acre of land just south of the Elks Hall on Tetrault St., across the street from Mills Memorial Hospital for a combined residential, daycare and office structure.

Following the $850,000 purchase, MNBC now has a consultant putting together a package of residential unit sizes, construction costs and financing options. The zoning allows for a maximum of 20 residential units on the property.