A project to provide housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence is one step closer now that the city has granted a development permit for its location on the 4800 Block of Lazelle Ave.
The three-storey apartment building, construction of which will be financed by the provincial government by its BC Housing agency, will be managed by the Ksan House Society and will be situated right beside its existing administrative and housing complex on Lazelle.
It’ll contain eight one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units as well as common areas.
The development permit application was presented to council at its March 22 meeting.
The housing is called second stage, defined as accommodation for people who have already been in short term housing but who are now preparing to live independently.
A length of stay could be anywhere from six to 18 months or longer depending upon circumstances.
In addition to paying for construction, the province will also provide money for counselling and other services.
“This support for women and children includes the provision of crisis and emotional support, safety planning, access to information, education regarding the dynamics and impacts of violence against women and children, and how to heal from these impacts,” read the city report recommending the development permit be granted.
The need for this kind of housing was identified in a 2020 housing report commissioned by the city with the province initially announcing it would commit money for construction the year before.
The location consists of three lots, two owned by Ksan and the one owned by the lower mainland-based M’akola Housing Society. They are being sold to the province.
With this construction pending, the 4800 Block of Lazelle is going to be a busy place thanks to another project also advancing toward construction. This second project will have 47 units of affordable housing meant for Indigenous people and will be financed by the provincial government. It’ll be located next to the bowling alley.