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Construction starts on first phase of 800-home Nigel Valley redevelopment

The project will create 800 homes for people with a wide range of needs, including mental-health support and long-term care.

Government officials and non-profit leaders gathered at the Garth Homer Centre Thursday to announce that construction has begun on the $250-million Nigel Valley housing redevelopment.

The project off Vernon Avenue between Saanich Road and Ravine Way in Saanich will create 800 homes for people with a wide range of needs, including mental-health support and long-term care.

The province said it will be completed in three phases over the next decade and include roughly 440 affordable rental homes, 255 units of market housing, 41 long-term care beds, 37 supportive homes for seniors and veterans and 25 supportive homes for people with mental-health challenges.

Funded by the federal government, B.C. Housing, the Capital Regional Hospital District and Island Health, the Nigel Valley project is the Island’s largest affordable housing investment.

“We understand that many residents are struggling to find housing options that [are] affordable and suitable for their needs,” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes. “That’s an important part of what we’re delivering today.”

The first phase of the redevelopment has already begun with the start of construction of Nigel House, Broadmead Care’s new long-term care home. The building will include 88 units, of which 41 will be long-term care beds, 37 will be homes with support for seniors and veterans, and 10 will be affordable rental units for independent seniors and veterans.

“Broadmead Care has had a dream for years to build a new Nigel House,” said Derrick Bernardo, president and CEO of Broadmead Care, in a statement. “We are excited to see housing, health and social services coming together to make this dream a reality and more.”

Later this year, construction is scheduled to start on the Greater Victoria Housing Society’s new 70-unit rental apartment building for moderate and low-income individuals, families, seniors and people with disabilities.

The Garth Homer Society and Island Community Mental Health are also partners.

ngrossman@timescolonist.com