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Work begins on transitional homes in Courtenay

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Construction of new transitional homes for women and children leaving violence has started in Courtenay.

The development, called Darry’s Place in honour of long-time Comox Valley Transition Society member Darry Estes, will have 40 second-stage short-term homes in a three-storey building, according to a release from the province.

They say the housing will be a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes with five being wheelchair accessible.

Construction of the facility is expected to be done by spring 2023. Courtenay mayor Bob Wells says the building has been a long time coming.

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“The City of Courtenay has been advocating for additional housing supports in our community at the provincial and federal level for years, in collaboration with our community partners,” said Wells. “This much-needed project will provide safe and affordable housing and, with its built-in support services, it’s more than just walls and a roof.”

The province says the rental rates for the housing will be calculated at 30 per cent of the resident’s income or the provincial shelter rate for those who are getting income or disability assistance.

Funding of $17.2-million is being invested by the province and the city has waived more than $20,000 in fees for the project.

The project is part of a 10-year, $7-billion housing plan. It so far includes over 300 homes in the Comox Valley.

The building will be managed by the transition society, which offers support such as life-skills training, crisis counselling and poverty-reduction service to women and children living in the homes.

“The Comox Valley Transition Society is pleased to see this much-needed second-stage housing for women and their dependent children underway,” said society executive director Heather Ney. “This housing will increase the safety of those experiencing intimate partner violence and sexual assault, and will provide a place to land after an urgent stay at the transition house.”

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