Capital Regional Hospital District Gives Green Light to Mount View Heights Supportive Housing Project

Apr 03, 2009

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional Hospital District Board (CRHD) authorized the signing of a sixty year lease agreement with the Victoria Cool Aid Society (VCAS) in order to construct and operate “Olympic Vista Apartments”, a 3-storey, 36 unit supportive housing development at the Mount View (Carey Road) site. The Board also authorized CitySpaces Consulting, to act on its behalf in applying for the necessary municipal development and subdivision approvals for the project, concurrent to the rezoning application which has already been submitted to the District of Saanich. 

The preliminary total capital cost of the Olympic Vista project is approximately $7.7 million. The Province, in partnership with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) will fund the building design and construction; the Province will make ongoing contributions to the project operating costs. The CRHD contribution, in the form of a land grant (60 year lease) is valued at $800,000. The Victoria Cool Aid Society has been selected by the Province to develop and operate the proposed new housing units.

“This housing will provide a stable and supportive environment for people most in need in Saanich,” said Murray Coell, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development. “The selection of an experienced non-profit operator like Cool Aid is an important step in both the development process and in breaking the cycle of homelessness in this community.”

Olympic Vista Apartments will be one of six Olympic Legacy Affordable Housing sites across BC. The Olympic Legacy Housing agreement between the Province of British Columbia and VANOC, announced by the province in October 2008, will create up to 156 units of permanent affordable housing for people most in need. Through the  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Province and VANOC,  320 temporary modular housing units from the Olympic and Paralympic Village at Whistler will be re-configured and relocated as permanent, affordable housing units in  Chetwynd, Chilliwack, Enderby, Saanich, Sechelt and Surrey.

“This will be an ongoing legacy for the community of Saanich providing necessary housing for individuals who are at risk of homelessness,” said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, VANOC. “We are pleased to be part of this solution to provide permanent Olympic Legacy Affordable Housing as soon as possible after the close of the 2010 Winter Games.”

”The Olympic Vista project, a multi-party partnership, is a model of local government working with the Province, VANOC and local non profit organizations including the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness,” said CRHD Board Chair Graham Hill. “It has great potential to provide for and complement the needs of seniors and homeless, and I am confident that our partnership will prove a successful example of VANOC’s legacy projects.”

“These new housing units are an important step towards addressing homelessness in the Saanich area,” said Kathy Stinson, executive director, Victoria Cool Aid Society.  “By providing housing with on-site support services, including staffing the housing 24 hours per day, seven days per week, Victoria Cool Aid Society will be able to provide individuals with the much needed support to stabilize their lives.”

Olympic Vista Apartments is part of a larger proposal for the Mount View site. In addition to the 36 supportive housing units for homeless individuals, the plan also calls for a 244 bed residential care home, 129 independent living suites for seniors, mixed-use market development and public open space. CRHD completed the purchase of the Carey Road site from School District 61 in 2007.

The CRHD is also working with Baptist Housing Ministries to advance the complex care component of the plan.

The final approval of the zoning Bylaw along with the development permit and sub-division application will be in the hands of the Saanich Council.

For information on the Mount View Heights.

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For further information please contact:
Sheila Taylor, Manager, Community Relations
Tel: 250.360.3308
Cell: 250.216.4427