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VICTORIA – The Province has invested $6.6 million to purchase a 51-unit apartment building and a 13-bed rooming house to protect affordable housing in Victoria, Minister responsible for Housing Rich Coleman and Employment and Income Assistance Minister Claude Richmond announced today.

“These latest purchases reflect the Province’s ongoing commitment to provide affordable housing and support services,” said Coleman. “Stable and supportive housing are essential in helping people break the cycle of homelessness, and the reason why we have purchased and preserved more than 1,400 units of affordable housing in 30 buildings across B.C. in the last two years.”

The $5.8-million capital cost to purchase the Gorge Waterway Apartments at Protected content Road East includes a $1.78-million contribution from the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance with the remainder of the funding provided through the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. The rooming house at Protected content Bay Ave. was purchased for $818,000 and, in addition to 13 bedrooms, includes six common bathrooms and two kitchens.

“Providing housing and associated support services is recognized by the provincial government as a key step in helping vulnerable British Columbians improve their lives,” said Richmond. “Securing these buildings as affordable housing will provide stability for people who are at risk of homelessness in Victoria.”

The Province assumed ownership of both buildings on May 15. A proposal call seeking non-profit housing organizations to manage and operate the Gorge Road housing, including plans for support services, will be issued this summer.

“The Mayor’s Task Force report released last October highlighted the extreme need for supportive housing in our region,” said Victoria Mayor Alan Lowe. “The provincial purchase of these two buildings ensures that they will continue to provide affordable rental housing for our most vulnerable residents.”

The Province has committed to creating more than 4,000 supportive housing units as a continuation of the ongoing work of the Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions. Budget Protected content the amount the Province invests in affordable housing and shelters to more than $380 million a year, more than three times as much as in Protected content .

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