The real estate market has taken its toll on the Cowichan Women Against Violence Association’s search for a new home – which has a deadline just around the corner. They’re asking the community for help in that search.
“We need a building, a house or a commercial building,” says executive director Jan Bate. “We are absolutely willing to purchase, or do a combination of a gift-in-kind and a purchase – because we do have funds that we’ve raised.”
The association has been looking for a permanent location for their Charlotte’s Place women’s shelter since last summer, when their overnight shelter had to be demolished for the plans of the new Cowichan High School.
However, they did manage to find a temporary new home, gaining a one-year lease in a home, which expires in August. That bought them some time in a search for a permanent location, but there is another deadline, much sooner, that has put some pressure on their search.
The society managed to raise $600,000 through various means, but some of that funding is time-sensitive.
“Duncan is what’s called a designated community for Reaching Home funds and these are funds that are distributed through United Way,” says Bate. “And they have donated a substantial amount of money.”
Reaching Home is a community-based, government program, which aims to prevent and reduce homelessness. The substantial amount of money Bate is speaking of amounts to a little over $344,000, which is over half of their total funding. That is the chunk of funding set to expire on March 31.
Executive Director Jan Bate says the red-hot real estate market has priced them out of many of the offers that they’ve placed.
“Listings are going for above the asking price, again and again, and we can’t even make a second offer,” says Bate. “We go in with an offer that we can afford and is fair, and we don’t get the place, and neither do we get another chance to increase our bids. We have placed offers on a number of properties in the Duncan area and not got them yet, so what we’re looking for is a chance to get into the market.”
Bate is asking if anyone knows of a space that’s available to please contact them before their funding expires on March 31.
“If somebody is there with a place that they’re thinking about selling and if they came to us first, then we would be able to potentially buy a place for Charlotte’s Place,” says Bate. “We believe in this community and we believe that we will find a place. We just need help to find it.”