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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2020MAH0101-001623
Sept. 1, 2020
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Hundreds of new supportive homes proposed for people in Vancouver

VANCOUVER – The Province is partnering with the City of Vancouver to build 450 new supportive homes for people experiencing homelessness in the city.

“The need for safe, secure housing has never been more clear,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These new homes with wraparound supports will make a real difference for hundreds of people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, giving them a place of their own where they can stabilize and rebuild their lives.”

Recognizing the urgent need to open more housing for people experiencing homelessness, the Province and the city are partnering to expedite the development of 98 temporary modular supportive homes at 1580 Vernon Dr. The Province and city are also working together to build 350 units of permanent supportive housing.

The housing projects would be built on city-owned land and the Province, through the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, would fund the capital and operating costs of the projects. These homes are in addition to the almost 1,000 supportive homes that the Province has opened in Vancouver since 2017.

“There’s only one way to tackle the ongoing homelessness crisis: building homes. And the fastest way to build homes is by investing in modular housing,” said Kennedy Stewart, mayor, City of Vancouver. “Today’s announcement of an additional 450 homes adds to the hundreds of homes we’ve already secured thanks to the incredible partnership between the City of Vancouver and the Province of B.C. This government not only gets it, but it is doubling down to provide our most vulnerable neighbours with the housing they deserve and the wraparound services they need to get back on their feet.”

A public information session for the temporary units will be held online in October 2020. If approved, the new homes are estimated to be open by spring 2021, and will remain in place for approximately five years, with an option to renew the lease for an additional five years.

“These much-needed temporary modular homes with wraparound services will have a big impact for vulnerable people living in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant,” said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “The former government made a calculated decision to ignore the escalating housing needs of the residents of East Vancouver. While it will take time to undo 16 years of neglect, today’s investment is a positive step for our community.”

The locations of the 350 permanent supportive housing units will be announced in the coming months. As locations are announced, project partners will host information sessions to make sure neighbours and communities close to each of the sites are informed about the proposals and have an opportunity to ask questions and share their feedback.

The new homes would provide wraparound support services such as meals, access to health care, life skills training and connection to employment opportunities, among others. Once open, each of the sites would be managed by an experienced non-profit housing operator who would be on site 24/7.

To foster positive relationships between the buildings and their neighbours, community advisory committees would be set up and would meet regularly to address any potential issues or feedback from the community.

Learn More:

The Province and City of Vancouver are also partnering to launch B.C.’s first-ever “navigation” centre, a 60-bed facility to help people who are experiencing long-term homelessness and require supports:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0090-001460

Public engagement updates and details about these projects will be available on BC Housing’s Let’s Talk Housing page:
www.letstalkhousingbc.ca/vancouver-supportive-housing

For more information about the Vernon Drive temporary supportive housing project and updates on public engagement timing, visit:
https://shapeyourcity.ca/1580-vernon-dr

Two backgrounders follow.

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-1255
 
BC Housing
media@bchousing.org
 
City of Vancouver
Civic Engagement and Communications
media@vancouver.ca
604 871-6336
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 1
For Immediate Release
2020MAH0101-001623
Sept. 1, 2020
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Services, supports provided for modular housing

All new modular housing buildings in the province have around-the-clock staffing to help young people, people with disabilities, seniors and others in critical need of housing.

The Province is providing annual operating funding to help those with the highest housing needs to build new beginnings. Experienced staff provide support to tenants, based on their assessed needs.

Services and supports provided to young people, seniors, people with disabilities and others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, include:

  • both on-site supports and connection to additional specialized supports in their community;
  • supports that are tailored to the needs of the residents, including education and employment opportunities, and health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction treatment programs;
  • individual or group support services, such as life skills, community information and social and recreational programs;
  • meals;
  • case planning and needs assessment;
  • other supports designed to assist residents in meeting their personal and housing goals, including culturally specific programs;
  • help accessing income assistance, pension benefits, disability benefits, obtaining a B.C. identification card or establishing a bank account;
  • support for residents to learn how to operate and maintain a home; and
  • no-cost laundry services, either on or off site.
 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-1255
 
BC Housing
media@bchousing.org
 
City of Vancouver
Civic Engagement and Communications
media@vancouver.ca
604 871-6336
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 2
For Immediate Release
2020MAH0101-001623
Sept. 1, 2020
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Province building new homes in Vancouver to meet full spectrum of housing needs

The B.C. government is working with the City of Vancouver and community partners to build affordable homes that cover the full spectrum of housing needs for people in Vancouver.

Budget 2018 included a $7-billion investment in the homes people need. As a result of that investment, 3,725 new homes are completed or underway for a range of people who are struggling to find a place to live in Vancouver, from people who are experiencing homelessness to seniors on fixed incomes, to middle-income families and individuals. As of June 30, 2020, this includes:

Housing for people with very low incomes

Housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, for people with very low incomes (includes supportive housing and shelter-rate housing) or for women and children leaving violence – 1,284 homes:

  • Supportive homes with 24/7 supports: 999 homes
  • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund: 73 spaces of transition, second-stage and affordable rental housing for women and children leaving violence
  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (20% of units in each project): 212 homes

Housing for people with low to moderate incomes

This includes people residing in social housing (household incomes less than $65,000), as well as those living in affordable market rentals (households with annual incomes up to $74,000) – 2,306 homes:

Affordable market:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (30% of units in each project): 318 rental homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Affordable Rental Housing Program: 789 homes for people with low to moderate incomes
  • Deepening Affordability Fund: 485 homes for people with low to moderate incomes

Social housing or subsidized rents:

  • Building BC: Community Housing Fund (50% of units in each project): 529 rental homes for people with low incomes
  • Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund: 185 homes for Indigenous peoples, on- and off-reserve

Housing for people with middle incomes

The average annual household income qualifying for homes underway is under $99,000 per year:

HousingHub: 135 homes

Total: 3,725 homes

 
Contacts:
 
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Media Relations
778 584-1255
 
BC Housing
media@bchousing.org
 
City of Vancouver
Civic Engagement and Communications
media@vancouver.ca
604 871-6336
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect