North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said BC Housing has committed to deal with street disorder issues at its new homeless facility on Paddle Road. (File photo)

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said BC Housing has committed to deal with street disorder issues at its new homeless facility on Paddle Road. (File photo)

BC Housing commits to dealing with “street disorder” at Cowichan supportive housing complex

Sq’umul’ Shelh Lelum’ opened in April on Paddle Road

Resources will be allocated to deal with the increasing “street disorder” around BC Housing’s new supportive housing development on Paddle Road, North Cowichan officials have been promised.

At a recent council meeting Mayor Al Siebring said he and the municipality’s CAO Ted Swabey attended a virtual meeting with BC Housing and managers at the Lookout Housing and Health Society, which operates the facility, to discuss the issue and find solutions.

“Council had received some emails from businesses in that area [about the problems],” Siebring said.

“We received a firm commitment from BC Housing and the Lookout Housing and Health Society to work on the situation. They are going to dedicate funding for peer clean-up crews in the area starting in early August.”

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Siebring said the municipality will continue to monitor the situation.

“But I’m optimistic the will is there to affect the changes that are necessary,” he said.

The supportive housing facility, called Sq’umul’ Shelh Lelum’, opened in April and is intended for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in North Cowichan.

The four-storey structure with 52 individual studio suites is the first facility of its kind in the region.

The province, through BC Housing, invested approximately $13.7 million in the project through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, and is providing an annual operating subsidy of approximately $1.2 million.

Construction of another 48-unit development intended for people facing homelessness, which will also be funded by BC Housing, is currently underway at 260 White Rd. in Duncan, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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