Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples is pleased that BC Housing has agreed to build the kind of supportive social housing the Cowichan Leadership Group has been lobbying for in the valley.

Staples says simply providing housing is not enough to deal with some of the underlying problems and the wrap-around services included with BC Housing’s proposed self contained units are a good step forward.

You can’t just put people into housing and expect them to be successful, they need to have the supports in place in order to become successful.”

However, Staples says the Cowichan Valley still needs facilities where people can go to deal with issues such as drug addiction.

“We also know there’s still a lot of services missing. We don’t have treatment facilities, we don’t have proper mental health support facilities, there are people who don’t have opportunities or the ability to access any of these services because they certainly exist in the numbers that are needed and they certainly don’t exist in our area.”

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring is pleased to see that BC Housing has responded to the Cowichan Leadership Group’s request and is hopeful construction can begin in July.

He says the ‘modular construction’ style means the units should be ready fairly quickly.

The new facilities will have on-site staff and support services, providing access to life and employment skills training, health and wellness support services and opportunities for volunteer work.

Siebring says these wrap-around services are necessary if vulnerable people are going to deal with the basic problems that affect their lives.

BC Housing announced on Thursday that up to one-hundred supportive housing units for homeless people in Duncan and North Cowichan.

Two locations have been selected, on White Road in Duncan and Drinkwater Road in North Cowichan.