A young, single mother. A man who lost the use of his legs. A recovering drug addict. An old woman living on a fixed income. It may seem like these stories couldn’t be more different, but they actually all share a common thread: The characters are all real people from Victoria who faced serious challenges finding decent, affordable housing in the area. Fortunately, all of the stories also share a happy ending because each of the individuals were able to find a home thanks to the Greater Victoria Housing Society.

Founded in 1956, the Greater Victoria Housing Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the needy among us find high quality, safe, and affordable housing. Today, the society provides housing for over 1,000 people across the Victoria region in more than 700 units in 15 buildings. The Greater Victoria Housing Society offers two types of housing options: subsidized, which requires that applicants be on-file with the British Columbia Housing Registry, as well as non-subsidized housing. The organization also strives for best practices in energy efficiency and takes steps to ensure that their actions have the least possible negative effect on the environment.

Originally, in the 1950s, a group of concerned citizens saw a need for greater housing for the area’s seniors. They decided to address this problem by buying a house, and so, the Greater Victoria Housing Society was born. The society has evolved over the years to focus on more than just seniors and now provides housing services for low- to moderate-income families, the disabled, single parents, students, and others in need of a place to stay.

The Greater Victoria Housing Society does incredible work trying to provide housing for some of the neediest among us, and I’m proud to support the organization. I’ve made contributions to the society in the past, and in 2010, I also helped to facilitate the acquisition of a building for it–a 19-unit apartment building in Victoria on Quadra St.–that became the Greater Victoria Housing Society’s first “market to affordable” building, thus allowing the organization to expand its rental options.

For more information about the Greater Victoria Housing Society, visit its website!