COURTENAY, B.C- A modular housing project is coming to the Comox Valley’s biggest community.

According to a news release from the provincial government, the project is meant to provide a rapid response to the need for supportive housing in the area.

“Like so many regions of the province, the Comox Valley has been dealing with an increase in homelessness, and these homes will provide the help that is so desperately needed,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in the news release

“Treating people with dignity, giving them vital support services, and creating an independent living environment is the foundation people need to get back on their feet.”

The housing will be aimed at individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, with the intention of transitioning them to stable living by providing long-term housing with individual supports.

“I’m thrilled the city and our government are partnering to build this much-needed housing,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox.

“The modular housing will get people off the streets and into a safe and secure home, where they’ll be connected to the wellness and employment services they need.”

The new homes, which will number 46 in total, will all have a private bathroom and kitchen. Residents will share laundry facilities, and have access to meal programs, life-skills training, employment training, and other 24/7 services.

“We know there is a critical need for supportive housing in the Comox Valley. This facility would help people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, access services and support systems in a stable, safe, supervised environment,” said Courtenay mayor Larry Jangula, in the release.

“We look forward to working with BC Housing, local homeless support agencies, and the community, as this process moves forward.”

The homes are proposed to be built on city-owned land at 988 – 8th St., which will require an amendment to the current zoning. The location is an unused parcel of land, adjacent to the municipal works yard in west-end Courtenay.

Pending municipal approvals, construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2018, in order to have the homes ready for the winter.

The John Howard Society of North Island has been selected to operate the housing and provide support services for residents.

A public hearing for the project is scheduled for May 22, 2018, at 5 p.m. in at Courtenay city hall.