450 new supportive homes for homeless in 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 Drive. 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 Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “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.

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