Victoria Council approves Mount Edwards Court social housing plan

A controversial social housing proposal for Vancouver Street in Victoria's Rockland neighbourhood was approved by council Thursday night.

The plan is to turn the Mount Edwards Court building into 78 supportive housing units and 15 affordable housing units for people over the age of 50. The Cool Aid Society operates the facility and CEO Kathy Stinson says the newly approved plan is different from the building's current use as transitional housing for former residents of tent city.

"This building will be focused more on a recovery model, so there won't be any people with active addictions living in this building on a go forward basis. So that's something new."

Stinson says, now that council has approved the necessary rezoning, changes will begin soon, "we're going to be opening up the second floor fairly immediately and that'll give us the ability to house 40 more individuals at Mount Edwards Court. And that's huge in our community because we have an affordable housing and homelessness crisis."

The council vote came after a packed public hearing that heard passionate arguments both for and against.

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