City of Duncan considers development for women and children escaping violence. (File photo)

Duncan considers housing development for women and children escaping violence

Project would be second-stage housing

An application for a second-stage housing development for women and children is being considered by the City of Duncan.

The purpose of the development would be to help support women and children who have experienced, or are at risk of, violence.

Duncan CAO Peter de Verteuil explained that the housing development, which would be the first of its kind in the city, is meant to house woman and children who are in the second stage of transitional housing.

He said second-stage housing facilities like the one proposed for Duncan usually consist of private, secure, low-cost apartments or townhouse units where women and children can live safely and independently, typically for six to 18 months, after fleeing violence.

After that, it’s hoped the woman and children will be able to move on independently to secure housing of their own and safe lives.

De Verteuil said the proposed development is completely separate from BC Housing’s plan to build 50 supportive housing units on White Road for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in the Cowichan Valley.

RELATED STORY: 100 SUPPORTIVE HOUSING UNITS TO BE BUILT IN DUNCAN, NORTH COWICHAN

At its meeting on July 20, Duncan council waived the public hearing that is usually mandatory for such projects as the objectives of the development were seen to be consistent with the policies of the city’s official community plan.

As well, council decided to proceed with the application without the typical rezoning process to ensure the location of the development can be kept confidential to protect the safety of the women and children staying there.

“Most municipalities have bylaws that allow for transitional housing in residential areas, and there have been no complaints about these developments,” de Verteuil said.

“The fourth and final reading of the bylaw is expected at council’s next meeting on Aug. 17.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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