New funding announced for women and children fleeing violence in Smithers and across the province.

In a press conference today Premier John Horgan announced that over the next ten years the province is investing $734-million in building new and helping existing transition houses.

According to Smithers Mayor, Taylor Bachrach, the funding will help the Northern Society for Domestic Peace in Smithers build 4 second-stage housing units for young women and young mothers, and 5 second-stage units for women and mothers.

Screenshot of Mayor of Smithers Taylor Bachrach Facebook page

“The need for housing for women and children fleeing violence is not just in larger cities like Vancouver this housing is needed in smaller communities,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Selina Robinson.

Robinson said that over the years service providers have had to turn away hundreds of women for lack of housing.

The funding will target women in four key groups:
. Housing for indigenous women
. Housing for women who have experienced sex trafficking
. Housing for senior women
. Housing for young women with women

Robinson says that the focus will be on three essential forms of housing; transition housing, second stage, and affordable housing.

In the next three years, the government says the plan is to build 500 units and then have over 1,500 units constructed within 10 years.

“Fleeing violence often results in poverty and homelessness for women and their children if they can’t access safe, secure housing. The reality or risk of homelessness frequently results in women returning to violence,” Executive director, BC Society of Transition Houses, Joanne Baker.