While hopes of using at least part of the closed Oak Bay Lodge as temporary shelter to get more people off the streets remain, such sentiments were absent at a Capital Regional District committee meeting this week.
The CRD’s hospitals and housing committee members received a report on Wednesday updating progress on the public engagement process for the lodge redevelopment. It proposes a multi-round consultation and engagement plan to generate community feedback and input on the future use of the property, now owned by the Capital Regional Hospitals District.
Oak Bay mayor and committee member Kevin Murdoch asked when Island Health might have a list of potential health services that might be located at the site.
Kevin Lorette, general manager of planning and protective services, said the health authority has given the CRD “broad strokes” of what could be on property, but that a more detailed analysis of the options will be undertaken in the new year.
On Nov. 12 Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Jeremy Loveday brought forward a series of actions aimed at working to bring all homeless residents inside by next spring. It included requesting the province to intervene and open at least a portion of Oak Bay Lodge to house people 55-over until demolition happens.
Phase 1 of the consultation process, including the launch of a project website, the hosting of virtual open houses and small group meetings, plus physically distant pop-ups, is scheduled to begin in January 2021.