Uplands Drive identified for social housing

The latest project in the provincial government’s Housing First initiative could see up to 40 social housing units built at 6025 Uplands Drive.

The latest project in the provincial government’s Housing First initiative could see up to 40 social housing units built at 6025 Uplands Dr., near Nanaimo Fire Rescue Station 3 on Hammond Bay Road.

The Uplands location, along with a 35- to 40-unit project to be built 1621 Dufferin Cres., was announced Tuesday along with requests for expressions of interest from non-profit societies to design, develop and operate the  sites.

When Housing First was first introduced in 2008, it was determined Nanaimo required 160 units to house the city’s homeless. The program provides shelter ad access to programs for those in need, but also allows residents to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while staying there, though drugs and alcohol are not allowed on the premises.

As part of the program, the city is required to provide the land for the facilities, while the province partners with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and Canadian Mental Health Association to provide staff and programming.

Other projects in Nanaimo include an 18-unit development on Tenth Street for aboriginal youth and elders, and an 36-unit on Wesley Street scheduled to open next spring.

A 36-unit facility planned for 1406 Bowen Rd. was put on hold earlier this year following a series of contentious public hearings surrounding the project’s proximity to an elementary school, increased traffic and effect on property values.

Council will determine the need for the Bowen Road project following the completion of the Wesley, Dufferin and Uplands facilities.

The Uplands location is near Dover Bay Secondary School and McGirr Elementary School, but  John Horn, city planner, said there were not a lot of options in the north end.

“In listening to the neighbourhood around the Bowen and Dufferin sites and their feedback, we went back to B.C. Housing and asked them if they would see fit to revising our agreement to move some of the units up north,” he said. “We don’t own a lot of empty, multi-family sites of appropriate size up there. We need to have these projects adjacent to bus routes and shopping. You can’t go too far off the beaten track or you’re just leaving people stranded.”

Horn said every major neighbourhood in the city has schools.

“The basis of our system is every school is embedded in neighbourhoods so they’re walkable,” he said. “These folks are going to live in neighbourhoods, and that’s where schools are.”

The Uplands and Dufferin sites are appropriately zoned for social housing and do not require public hearings, but Horn said the public will be notified.

“Once a provider has been identified, they will act as the key liaison to neighbours and residents of the area in terms of public consultations because they’re the ones who are going to run the building at the end of the day,” he said. “They’ll be well-placed to respond to how this will work, what’s it going to look like, who’s going to live there. Our role is limited to providing the land.”

But until a provider is chosen, B.C. Housing and the city will begin discussions with residents in the areas.

“Our preference is to do that in smaller settings rather than large public meetings,” said Horn. “We’ll do that initially, but we’d hope  our partners, who are more knowledgeable than we are, would take that job over.”

Horn expects a service provider to be identified by December.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million lotto prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

East Coast comedian Ron James bringing ‘Full Throttle Tour’ to Nanaimo

James is at work on the first draft of his first book, ‘All Over the Map’

Thieves steal computers and two beers during downtown Nanaimo restaurant break-in

Break-and-enter happened Sept. 3 at Zalathai Thai Restaurant on Victoria Crescent

Nanaimo Boat Show full of ideas about how to get out on the water

Show takes place Sept. 19-22 at Waterfront Suites and Marina on Stewart Avenue

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

Nanaimo remembers Terry Fox and runs for his cause

Terry Fox Run was held Sunday at Bowen Park

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Clippers earn five out of six points in BCHL action

Nanaimo splits with Alberni Valley, beats Chilliwack

UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

Authorities said the two victims were a man and a woman, both aged 18

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

Most Read