SOOKE – Two new housing projects are on the way to Sooke that will provide 75 affordable rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes, along with 33 supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the community.
Construction is expected to begin this month on the 75 new affordable rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes at 2170 Charters Rd. The building will provide studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes for individuals, Elders, seniors and families.
The building is estimated to open in 2022. The project is a partnership between the Province, M’akola Housing Society, the federal government and the Capital Regional District.
In addition, the Province, through BC Housing, has purchased the Hope Centre at 6750 West Coast Rd. from M’akola and the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Vancouver Island. The building will undergo renovations to accommodate 33 supportive homes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, a service hub with six shelter beds, programming space for training/outreach services and a commercial kitchen.
“We are continuing our important work in the community of Sooke, serving our existing tenants at the Hope Centre while also expanding affordable housing options through the development of a new housing project in Sooke, which will serve more families, Elders and individuals,” said Kevin Albers, CEO of M’akola Housing Society.
The plan is to gradually transition the building into supportive housing over the coming months. The Sooke Shelter society will operate the new building with staff on site 24/7 to provide support services to residents, including life skills training, mentorship and other programming. Partnering agencies, including Island Health and Aids Vancouver Island, will be on site to support residents’ access to mental health and other health services.
The Hope Centre currently provides rental homes for people with low incomes. M’akola has already reached out to current residents, who will be able to stay if they wish to. The society will work with these residents to discuss their future plans and support those who wish to transition to other housing options.
A community advisory committee (CAC) will be formed, which will include project partners and neighbourhood representatives. The CAC will oversee the project’s integration within the community and help address any concerns that may arise.