After leasing many of the hotel’s rooms for the last year, BC Housing has purchased the Capital City Center Hotel to provide 94 temporary housing spaces for people experiencing homelessness.
BC Housing has leased 83 of the hotel’s rooms since last April for temporary housing spaces during the pandemic. The now provincially-owned hotel will have its 96 rooms converted into 94 supportive housing units and two administration rooms.
Residents currently living in the hotel will be allowed to stay and vacant units will be given to other vulnerable people, including those currently sheltering at Beacon Hill Park. BC Housing said the long-term plan is to redevelop the 1961 Douglas St. site into affordable rental housing.
“The purchase of this hotel creates stable housing options now and opportunities for rental housing in the future that will serve people in Victoria for decades,” said David Eby, B.C.’s housing minister. “Because this hotel is now in public ownership, the almost 100 people who are safely housed with supports now can breathe a sigh of relief – they won’t have to move at the end of the lease.”
The site will have 24/7 wraparound support for residents, including meal programs, life skills training and health and wellness support services. Those supports will be offered by Our Place Society, which has been operating the site since last October.
The purchase includes an adjacent parking lot at 722 and 726 Discovery St., which BC Housing also plans to develop into rental housing in the future. The provincial agency says it will engage with the community before it redevelops the hotel and parking lot. The province paid $25 million for the hotel and parking lot.
BC Housing says a community advisory committee will oversee the integration within the community and address questions raised by people in the neighbourhood.
Victoria’s bylaw banning daytime camping in public parks comes back into effect on May 1. BC Housing says 117 of the more than 220 people living in encampments have moved into an indoor shelter since January.
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