Coun. Niall Paltiel says with the District of Central Saanich lacking resources to work with people at risk of homelessness and in immediate crisis, BC Housing should give preference to locals in certain critical situations when selecting tenants for the supportive housing project on Prosser Road. (Black Press Media file photo)

Coun. Niall Paltiel says with the District of Central Saanich lacking resources to work with people at risk of homelessness and in immediate crisis, BC Housing should give preference to locals in certain critical situations when selecting tenants for the supportive housing project on Prosser Road. (Black Press Media file photo)

Central Saanich sends housing preference list to province for Prosser project

District asks that people facing three categories of risk be prioritized for tenancy

Central Saanich is calling on the province to give preferential treatment to three categories of individuals, including seniors, when it comes to the supportive housing project under construction on Prosser Road.

At its June 28 meeting, council approved a motion co-sponsored by Couns. Niall Paltiel and Bob Thompson requesting a preferred outcome for people meeting at least one of three profiles.

They include stabilized individuals who are working on achieving employment and looking for a secure and drug-free environment to transition from an at-risk environment; local and First Nations residents displaced due to a lack of housing and appropriate treatment now looking to return to a more familiar environment; and seniors looking for a safe and substance-free environment to transition from an at-risk environment.

“Giving some sort of preference there will create a much more successful program from our community’s perspective, and likely as well as BC Housing’s perspective,” Paltiel said.

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He said Central Saanich lacks the resources to help individuals who find themselves in what he called “immediate crisis” and need significant supports.

“We are not equipped to deal with this as a community and we also don’t want to take resources away from our existing residents,” he said. “As a community and council, we are reasonable and open-minded in these cases, but at the same time, we want to be clear what our ability is to receive a project like this where there could be significant needs included.”

The project at 1909 Prosser Rd. calls for 39 supportive units for people characterized by BC Housing as at risk of homelessness. The project is part of a larger housing complex that also includes 51 below market rate housing units.

BC Housing says the project gives priority to people at risk of homelessness in Central Saanich who need minimal supports and are ready to live independently.

Council’s notice of motion at the June 28 meeting requesting the resident preferences is the last piece of correspondence between the municipality and the province.

RELATED: 51 affordable units coming to Prosser Road, next to supportive housing development in Central Saanich


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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