A groundbreaking ceremony at the corner of the 4800 block of Lazelle Ave. and Munroe marks the official start of construction on a housing project for women and children on June 22nd.
Called Second Stage Housing, it will provide housing for women and children who have experienced either domestic violence or threats of violence, which has prompted them to initially move to a transition home or other safe place.
Amanda Owens, executive director of the Ksan Society, the local social agency that will manage the three-story apartment building, said support and referrals to other affordable housing services and links will be offered.
The length of stay can range from six to 18 months or longer, depending on the circumstances.
“Some women need or want direct access to a second tier housing program and are able to self-enroll,” Owens said.
“Support includes first contact services, safe shelter, shelter and immediate basic needs, personal support for women and children, referrals, advocacy and assisted access to services, and linking services between agencies.”
The building will feature eight one-bedroom, five two-bedroom, and nine three-bedroom units, as well as common areas.
The BC Housing Agency is funding the construction and will own the building, which will be operated by Ksan. Owens said Ksan needs to fill about six positions to run the facility.
Ksan has operated a transitional home in Terrace for years and this new project marks another step forward in offering affordable housing options in the city. Owens said customers don’t necessarily have to be just from the Terrace area.
“We usually look at local candidates first, but also as needed – every case is different,”
The need for this type of living space was determined in a 2020 housing report commissioned by the city.
Golden Globe Construction, with offices in East Vancouver, has the contract for construction of the building and is expected to take approximately 16 months to complete.
It will be the third residential project of its kind in the 4800 Block of Lazelle neighborhood.
Another three-story, 48-unit apartment building under the auspices of the Vancouver-based M’akola Housing Society, funded by BC Housing, is under construction on the same block for Aboriginal people.
A third residential project, now in the planning stages, is located just steps from the M’akola project on the vacant lot adjacent to the main offices of the Terrace and District Services Society at the corner of Eby and the 4800 Block of Lazelle.
Funding for this Terrace and District Community Services Society project also comes from BC Housing.
The youth psychiatric service Gießerei operated by the association is to be housed in the basement of a building, with 43 residential units for seniors on the upper floors.
The three projects are not the only ones aimed at expanding the city’s stock of affordable and safe housing.
Last year, BC Housing announced funding for Ksan to build, which it will own and manage, a four-story, 34-unit residential building at 2801 Kenney St. on the Southside.
The site on the corner of Kenney and Agar, adjacent to the former Misty River Tackle, will be known to longtime residents as the former site of a home destroyed by fire more than 20 years ago.
In February, Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) announced that it had acquired a 0.2-acre lot south of Elks Hall on Tetrault St., across from Mills Memorial Hospital, for a combined residential, day care and office building.
After the $850,000 purchase, MNBC now has a consultant to put together a package of unit sizes, construction costs and financing options. The development provides for a maximum of 20 residential units on the property.
And the Vancouver-based M’akola Housing Society is about to begin construction of a three-story, 48-unit apartment building, also at the 4800 Block of Lazelle and adjacent to the bowling alley. It is intended for indigenous peoples.