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Province purchases land in Courtenay for homeless supportive housing

The province says they are planning to build 60 supportive housing units in Courtenay after buying property on Braidwood Avenue.

According to an announcement, the land will also get a separate, permanent, purpose-built shelter with room for about 40 beds. The province adds the buildings will also have additional space to use as an extreme weather response shelter during cold weather.

The province says they contributed $4 million through BC Housing to buy the land through the Supportive Housing Fund. The land will be rezoned for supportive housing once it is approved by city council.

Construction is set to start early next year, and BC Housing will reach out to local businesses and neighbours this spring, ahead of rezoning, to share more information with the community.

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Courtenay mayor Bob Wells says the efforts are needed to provide emergency shelter.

“The existing lease of the Connect Centre has always been a temporary measure,” said Wells.

“The proposed development application for the newly purchased property will be a top priority for city council and staff, and we look forward to working with BC Housing and social-service providers to address this significant need in our community.”

Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard adds the community has been working hard to find a new location for a more permanent shelter and the deal signifies a great partnership between the city and province.

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The project is part of a $19-billion housing investment from the province. They say there have been nearly 78,000 homes delivered or underway including 360 in Courtenay since 2017.

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