Future site of supportive housing project on Eighth Street in Courtenay.

Future site of supportive housing project on Eighth Street in Courtenay.

Supportive housing construction expected next week

Housing project not welcomed by some neighbours

BC Housing says site preparation for a supportive housing project on Eighth Street in Courtenay is expected to begin next week.

While the construction start is later than originally intended, modular units are expected to be ready for delivery in mid-January. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of March.

“These 46 new supportive units will provide much-needed safe and secure housing for those who are struggling with homelessness in the community,” a BC Housing statement said. “Outreach workers are visiting a small group of campers currently on the site to assess their needs. Several people have moved to shelter beds in the community, and local outreach providers, along with BC Housing, are assessing whether rent supplements can be provided for others to access rental housing in the private market.”

The contentious project at 988 Eighth St. has been criticized by some of the residents in the neighbourhood, particularly those who live at the nearby Kiwanis Village for seniors. At a public hearing in May at Courtenay council chambers, several Kiwanis residents said the project would exacerbate an already troubling situation in terms of drug activity and aggressive behaviour, considering the proximity of the Salvation Army shelter on Pidcock Avenue and the Comox Valley Recovery Centre.

In June, council unanimously approved a zoning amendment to allow the homes.

The project will include 24/7 services to support homeless individuals. The John Howard Society of North Island will operate the housing and provide the services.