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North Van advances women's supportive housing project

Public invited to have their say on women's housing

The public will soon have their say on an all-affordable housing project in Norgate for women and their families facing homelessness.

District of North Vancouver council voted unanimously Monday night to advance the 60-unit supportive housing project at 1577 Lloyd Ave. to a public hearing.

The province announced last month that BC Housing would put up all of the capital and operating costs for the five-storey project, on district-owned land currently leased for excess car storage for local auto dealerships.

Every unit’s rent will be set at shelter rates – $375 a month for a one-bedroom, $570 for a two-bedroom, $660 for a three-bedroom and $700 for a four-bedroom and the project includes common areas for meals and life skills/employment training.

“This is an exciting opportunity for women and their families to have safe, stable and supported housing with on-site services available,” said Amelia Ridgway, associate director for the RainCity Housing and Support Society, which will run the supportive housing. “RainCity will have staff on site 24/7 who will be able to provide support to them and their families.”

Ridgeway said the application process to live in the building will be rigorous and will be limited to women from the North Shore.

Because it is due to go to a public hearing, council members kept their discussion brief, though several members acknowledged housing of that type was urgently needed.

“This potentially fills a very critical gap in our community social services,” said Mayor Mike Little. “It still has to fit. We're still going to be working with the community as we go through the public process but I look forward to hearing more from (the public) about this.”

Others predicted there will be wide support when it comes to the public hearing.

“I think there's recognition, especially with COVID, that women in particular have been disproportionately impacted,” said Coun. Megan Curren.“I think there's, there is support for this and I look forward to seeing it proceed.”

The light-industrial lots where the supportive housing would be built were last assessed at $9,242,000.

BC Housing has scheduled three online neighbourhood dialogue sessions on Feb. 10, 18 and 25, which can be accessed via their Let's Talk Housing BC page