RESIDENTS of the Sperling Place Emergency Response Centre (ERC) will soon be moving into 43 units of new permanent supportive housing in the community.
“This new building in Burnaby provides stability and security through continuity of housing for people living at the Sperling Place ERC,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing, on Wednesday. “When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the Province provided Sperling Place as a short-term modular building that’s part of a long-term solution. This is part of our government’s investment of as much as $1.4 billion through Budget 2023 in new initiatives aimed at helping prevent and reduce homelessness.”
Located at 4100 Ledger Avenue, the new four-storey modular building provides permanent housing with supports for individuals who have been living at the ERC. The Sperling ERC was developed as a response to support vulnerable populations at risk from COVID-19 and is set to close once the residents have moved into the new homes at 4100 Ledger Ave.
“This is another step towards addressing homelessness, which remains a significant issue affecting people in Burnaby and throughout our province,” said Janet Routledge, MLA for Burnaby North. “Thank you to Progressive Housing Society for their leadership, as we seek to break the cycle of homelessness and offer stable housing and support for our most vulnerable people.”
Progressive Housing Society will operate the new building and provide support 24 hours, seven days a week to residents. Support services include on-site staffing, security, meals, life-skills training and employment programs, and referrals to other health and community-based services and supports. The building is located next to Norland Place, a 52-unit supportive housing building, also operated by Progressive, that opened in October 2019.
“The City of Burnaby is proud to support this kind of housing for the benefit of our residents who are the most in need,” said Mike Hurley, mayor of Burnaby. “These partnerships are so valuable, and I look forward to accelerating our progress and announcing more housing for Burnaby families in the near future.”
The Province, through BC Housing, invested $11.8 million from the Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund for the project, and is providing an annual operating subsidy of up to $1.9 million. The City of Burnaby provided the land for this project.
“Progressive Housing Society is honoured to be a partner in the ongoing work and development to increase the supply of supportive housing in Burnaby,” said Jaye Treit, Executive Director, Progressive Housing Society. “Progressive Housing Society operates the adjacent supported-housing building and will continue to operate the new Ledger Avenue development. The Society is thrilled to be adding additional units of much needed supportive housing in Burnaby.”
This project is part of B.C.’s 10-year, $19-billion housing plan. Since 2017, the Province has funded more than 76,000 affordable new homes that have been completed or are underway, including more than 4,000 homes in Burnaby.
The Sperling Place modular building is owned by BC Housing and is on land leased from the City of Burnaby. Sperling Place will be disassembled and the modular units repurposed for a future BC Housing project.
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online: https://www.bchousing.org/